Royal Mo successfully underwent surgery to repair a fractured sesamoid in his right-front leg, trainer John Shirreffs said May 15.
The Uncle Mo colt owned by Jerry and Ann Moss still has a long way to go in recovery, but Shirreffs said that at this point he is going in the right direction.
"He's back in his stall and surgery was successful," said Shirreffs, who was informed of Royal Mo's status by Dr. Dean Richardson, the chief of large animal surgery at New Bolton Center, the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine's facility in Kennett Square, Penn. "You never want to jinx something like this talking about that, but he's still got to recover. The biggest concern with this type of thing in horses is infection in the leg and laminitis in the other leg from the increased strain of putting the extra weight on the other limb."
While he still could have a future career at stud, the trainer said Royal Mo's racing career is officially over.
Shirreffs also credited jockey Gary Stevens and the on-site veterinarian, whose efforts in the immediate aftermath following Royal Mo's training injury May 14 at Pimlico Race Course may have saved the colt's life.
"It was great work by Gary Stevens," Shirreffs said. "To get down there and keep his leg elevated, and the doctor got out there quickly to make sure he didn't hurt himself more."
Royal Mo captured the Robert B. Lewis Stakes (G3) earlier in the year and was coming into the Preakness Stakes (G1) off a determined third-place finish in the Santa Anita Derby (G1). He was an also-eligible for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1), but didn't draw into the field. Bred by Brandywine Farm, he had a 2-2-1 record from six starts, with earnings of $267,200.