Baffert-Trained Vindication, Sarava Improving

Padua Stables' Vindication, who suffered a suspensory ligament injury in early February, returned to trainer Bpb Baffert's California barn Monday and is ready to resume serious training.

The champion 2-year-old male of 2002 had been at the Padua training center to recover from the injury. Before going to the farm, the colt underwent hyperbaric oxygen therapy and stem-cell therapy. The procedure entails withdrawing stem cells from a horse's hip and injecting them to the ligament where the injury occurred. Theoretically, the injury is then supposed to heal without any scar tissue or adhesions.

Randy Bradshaw, farm trainer for Padua, said the colt had worked "phenomenal" before returning to the track, with a time of :11 1/5 seconds for his last one-eighth mile workout. He galloped out an additional eighth of a mile in :12 1/5 seconds during that work.

Meanwhile, Sarava, the 2002 Belmont Stakes winner who underwent emergency colic surgery following his first race in 14 months, has been released from the San Luis Rey Equine Hospital and will recuperate at a farm near the Southern California facility.

The surgery was performed in late July by Dr. Joe Cannon hours after Sarava finished sixth in an allowance race -– his first since winning the Belmont – did not necessitate the removal of any intestines. Cannon cut into the colt to untangle a colon that had become twisted.

Baffert reiterated that he believed the colt twisted his colon when he stumbled leaving the gate in the allowance test.

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