Twin Creek Racing Stables' Graydar , back-to-back winner of the Donn Handicap (gr. I) and New Orleans Handicap (gr. II), will be sidelined for about 60 days after undergoing surgery to remove a chip from his left front ankle.
The minor procedure was performed by Dr. Larry Bramlage of Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital near Lexington, Twin Creeks manager Randy Gullatt said April 10. The 4-year-old son of Unbridled's Song will rehab at WinStar Farm near Versailles, Ky., while pointing for a fall campaign leading up to the Nov. 2 Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park.
"It's not a big deal, we just want to make sure that we have him ready for the Breeders' Cup and decided to not risk playing around," Gullatt said. "Taking him out and getting it done now, we'll have some time to get him ready for the Breeders' Cup. That's our number one goal and I think he's a legit horse.
"We'll have a good chance to get him right; our main goal is to have one or two preps before the Classic."
Graydar, trained by Todd Pletcher, arrived on the handicap scene with a bang this year when he made his stakes debut and won the Feb. 9 Donn by three lengths in front-running fashion over Bourbon Courage, Take Charge Indy , and Flat Out . Previously only with wins at Gulfstream Park, he came back March 30 at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots to win the New Orleans by 1 3/4 hard-fought lengths over Mark Valeski, with Bourbon Courage finishing third.
"It's hard to keep a horse at that level in those kind of races like that going all year long, and then have them 100% for the Breeders' Cup," Gullatt said. "We'll just take it day to day and give our horse whatever he needs."
Bred in Kentucky by W.S. Farish out of the Dehere mare Sweetest Smile, the gray colt holds a record of four wins and a third from five starts, with earnings of $361,560. An $85,000 RNA from the 2010 Keeneland September yearling sale, he was purchased by Gullatt for $260,000 at the 2011 Fasig-Tipton Florida select 2-year-old in training sale when consigned by William B. Harrigan.