Everett Dobson's undefeated Mastery, the grade 1 winner who was pulled up March 11 after his impressive San Felipe Stakes (G2) score, has returned to Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert's barn following successful surgery to repair a condylar fracture.
The 3-year-old Candy Ride colt sustained the injury to his left front leg at Santa Anita Park Saturday, and benefited from the quick actions of Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, who eased him on the gallop out. He was taken off the track in an equine ambulance and underwent surgery to insert two screws March 13.
A $425,000 purchase by Cromwell Bloodstock, Mastery was a top contender on the 2017 Road to the Kentucky Derby for Dobson's Cheyenne Stables. He captured each of his three starts during his juvenile campaging, including the Bob Hope Stakes (G3) and Los Alamitos Cash Call Futurity (G1), and took the San Felipe by 6 3/4 lengths in his seasonal bow.
"The surgery went very well," Baffert said of the operation performed by Dr. Vince Baker's team. "He's back at the barn, got there last night. He's looking good."
Mastery will remain with the trainer to recover.
"He'll stay there for at least a month," Baffert said. "We'll just wait. It takes like 90 days for that to heal up, and then we'll decide (if he'll race again). Right now our main concern is to make sure he's comfortable and happy."
"Condylar fractures aren't that uncommon, and it is an injury they can come back from, but he'll have to how he's 100% to go back into training," Dobson said. "He's a very exciting stallion prospect; he showed brilliance on the track. If he does retire, he'd retire undefeated, and he's out of a very hot sire with a very good pedigree, so that's the positive side."
Looking back at Saturday's experience, Dobson said he's focused on the positive.
"It could have been worse," he said. "We didn't have anything catastrophic happen, and I was told surgery went great. We'll just take it one day at a time. We're cautiously optimistic."
Claire Novak contributed to this report