Neck 'n Neck has sustained a sesamoid injury in his left front leg that will require surgery and sideline him for at least six months.
A 3-year-old son of Flower Alley, Neck ’n Neck would have been one of the favorites for the Clark Handicap (gr. I) on Nov. 23 at Churchill Downs off victories in the Indiana Derby (gr. II) and against older horses in the Ack Ack Handicap (gr. III) at Churchill.
Trainer Ian Wilkes said lameness was detected in Neck ’n Neck after a five-furlong breeze in 1:02 4/5 Nov. 18 at Churchill Downs. X-rays revealed a sesamoid fracture.
“We’d been very pleased with him,” Wilkes said of Neck ’n Neck’s late-season success. “This is one of those frustrating things that can happen in racing.”
Wilkes said owner A. Stevens Miles Jr. wants to give Neck ’n Neck a chance to return to racing, but the connections will have a better idea of his chances to do that following the surgery and recuperation time. A decision will be made then on whether to return to racing or retire the three-time graded stakes winner.