Doctors at New Bolton Center in Kennett Square, Pa. are cautiously optimistic that All Smiles, who broke down near the finish line of the June 20 Obeah Stakes (gr. III) at Delaware Park, will make a full recovery, the mare’s owner said June 26.
A 5-year-old daughter of Awesome Again, All Smiles broke both sesamoids in her right front leg about 200 yards from the wire of the 1 1/8-mile Obeah. Cynthia McGinnes, who bred and owns All Smiles with her husband, Charles, said the injury was caused when the dark bay or brown mare stepped in a starting gate tire track on the muddy surface. McGinnes credits many people, but especially jockey Justin Shepherd, for saving her life.
“Justin saved her life,” said McGinnes. “He was aware of what happened right away and not only pulled her up, but held her leg up until the van got there; just like Chris Antley did (with Charismatic). If he hadn’t done that, she wouldn’t be alive.
“But everyone was so helpful, including the two vets who prepared her at Delaware Park. It was less than an hour and half after the injury that she got to New Bolton. We’re very grateful.”
McGinnes said All Smiles, a two-time stakes winner and earner of more than $200,000 from 26 starts, is “doing as well as can be expected.” She said veterinarians Dr. Dean Richardson and Dr. Evita Brusschers performed successful surgery on the mare the day after the accident and there are no signs of infection in the leg. She has a cast on the leg but is still able to bear weight on it, decreasing the chance of laminitis in the other front leg.
McGinnes said All Smiles will likely go to a nearby lay-up farm June 29 and if all goes well, the cast will be removed July 21. She will then go back to New Bolton for about 10 days and hopefully return to the couples’ Chestertown, Maryland farm Aug. 1. McGinnes is hopeful that All Smiles can begin her broodmare career in the spring.
“We’ve been in the breeding business for about 35 years, but she is best racehorse we’ve had—the only one good enough to compete in graded stakes competition,” said McGinnes, who breeds and races her horses in the name of Thornmar Farm. They currently have about 25 broodmares. “We still have her dam, Cranberry Muffin, at our farm, so obviously she is very special to us. We’d like to breed (All Smiles) to Birdstone if he’s not too expensive.
“The doctors give her a 75-80% chance, which is about as good as you can hope for. They told us we’re not out of the woods yet, but we can see the end of the trees. That is encouraging, I think.
“I’d also like to thank all the people who have asked about her. I didn’t realize she had so many fans. We’ve gotten 14 e-mails from people we didn’t even know wanting to know about her condition.
All Smiles’ biggest wins have come this season. She won both the Nellie Morse Stakes and Dahlia Stakes at Laurel Park for trainer Francis Campitelli. She also finished third in the May 16 Allaire DuPont Distaff (gr. II) on Preakness day. The Obeah was going to be her final race, even before the injury, McGinnes said.