Centennial Farms’ Chelokee, injured during the May 2 Alysheba Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs, sustained a dislocated ankle and not a fracture, according to trainer Michael Matz.
“It was just a dislocated ankle that was put back in order,” Matz said May 3, on the morning of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). Matz will saddle Visionaire in the Derby. “The skin was not broken which is a good thing, and there was heat below the articulation, which means there is blood flow. The ankle will probably have to be fused. He had a good night. He ate and laid down and got up several times.”
Initially, it was believed that Chelokee had suffered a condylar fracture similar to that sustained by Matz-trained Barbaro in the 2006 Preakness Stakes (gr. I). Barbaro eventually was euthanized due to the effects of laminitis.
Matz said Dr. Larry Bramlage would examine the 4-year-old Cherokee Run colt Saturday to determine the exact extent of the injury.
Chelokee, who went off as the second choice at odds of 2-1, was running fourth in the race before he took a bad step and fell at the top of the stretch. Jockey Ramon Dominguez was examined at the track first-aid station and cleared to return to the jockeys' room.
“He was traveling absolutely perfect," Dominguez said. "I had the best horse in the race. I was just trying to pick my spot and as soon as he got to the top of the lane, he switched to his right lead and broke down. There was absolutely no contact.”
The race was won by Giant Gizmo, who went off at 5-1 and scored his first stakes victory in the Alysheba.