Buckram Oak Farm's Silver Wagon, last year's Hopeful (gr. I) winner who had been scheduled to run in the Florida Derby (gr. I), likely will undergo surgery on both knees, which will keep him out of training for most of the year.
"He was X-rayed by Dr. Steve Selway, and it showed a chip in one knee and a spur in the other knee," said Buckram Oak racing manager Mohammed Moubarak. "Dr. Selway recommended surgery. We'll have a second set set of X-rays taken by Dr. (Mark) Cheney, but it looks like he'll have to have surgery.
"This is a real shame. We're heartbroken over it, because he is such a good horse, and he had so much potential. The way he ran in the Holy Bull, ducking in the way he did, there's a good chance this has been bothering him for a while. He looked to be coming up the Florida Derby in great shape, and then we got a call from Ralph (trainer Ziadie) telling us what happened. Fortunately, the prognosis is good, being it's in the upper joint. He'll be laid up for two months, then turned out for a month, and it'll take another three months after that to get going again."
Silver Wagon had shown a great deal of promise with his dominating victory in the Hopeful, but hasn't been able to return to that form in three subsequent starts, in which he was second in the What Pleasure Stakes, second in the Holy Bull, and third in the Fountain of Youth (gr. II).
Also on the Florida Derby front, trainer Nick Zito, who trains Buckram Oak's other top 3-year-old, Eurosilver, said he is strongly considering running The Cliff's Edge following the colt's second-place finish in the Sam F. Davis, in which he broke from the 11 post and had to circle the field, going six-wide, on the far turn. With Read the Footnotes, Value Plus, and Master David in the race, it should be pretty competitive on or near the front end, and could set up for The Cliff's Edge to pick up a good piece of it.
Zito had originally planned to run Birdstone in the Florida Derby, but has decided to wait a week and run instead in the Lane's End Stakes (gr. II), where he will retain the services of regular rider Jerry Bailey, who will be on Read the Footnotes at Gulfstream.