According to Ellis, the son of A.P. Indy was sent to the San Luis Rey Equine Hospital nearly two weeks ago after developing symptoms which he initially thought to be ulcers. Diganosed as ulcer-free, he underwent exploratory surgery that revealed a displaced cecum. For more than a week following the surgery to repair the condition, Atswhatimtalknbout was reported to be doing very well, Ellis said. Then he received a call informing him the horse was deteriorating rapidly and that he'd likely suffered irreparable internal injuries.
"I had a lot of people ask me about him," Ellis said. "Even now, there were a lot of people who wanted to know how he was doing."
Atswhatimtalknbout, a $900,000 2-year-old in training purchase in 2002, rose to prominence in early 2003 when he broke his maiden in impressive fashion at first asking. After winning an allowance race in his third career start, a reported 10% interest in the big bay colt was sold to DreamWorks Productions co-founder Steven Spielberg, one of the producers of the movie Seabiscuit, which was nominated for an Academy Award for best picture in 2003. Other partners in the Biscuit Stable included the movie's husband and wife producing team of Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy, as well as director and screenwriter Gary Ross.
From six career starts, Atswhatimtalknbout won twice with a second and a third for earnings of $209,120. He finished second in last year's San Felipe Stakes (gr. I) and fourth in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I). He had been sidelined with foot problems since a troubled fourth-place finish in the 2003 Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
"There are a lot of good memories from him," Ellis said. "I always felt he never really got to show what kind of a horse he really was. It wasn't meant to be."