Fox Hill Farm's Rockport Harbor, who has been battling foot bruises this winter, apparently has recovered from his latest setback, and all systems are go for Saturday's Rebel Stakes (gr. III), where he'll meet Afleet Alex and Greater Good.
Trainer John Servis said the son of Unbridled's Song
was able to put weight on the foot Monday morning, and the prognosis is excellent that the colt will be able to make his long-awaited debut in the Rebel. According to Servis, the poultice that had been placed on the injured hind leg has been removed, and he'll start using a toughening agent on it. There is still one slight tender spot about the size of dime, which should be fine by Tuesday when the colt is scheduled to return to the track.
Unlike Rockport Harbor's previous foot bruise on Feb. 20, which occurred after being shod, Servis said this injury is a result of the original gash the colt suffered in the Remsen Stakes (gr. II).
"That Remsen injury has turned out to be a nightmare," Servis said. "It took a lot longer to heal than we originally expected, and now it's coming back to haunt us. The day before this happened, he was training great. This is going to set him back some, but I still think he's going to run well enough to move forward. Of course, I'll be very, very pleasantly surprised if he wins. But right now, I just want to get this race into him.
"I'll tell you, they nicknamed this horse (Rocky) right, because his 3-year-old year has certainly been rocky. He'll sure have enough battle scars on him to resemble his namesake. He is one tough sonofagun, boy. He tries to get through whatever is ailing him and go on to the next battle."