Trainer Doug O'Neill said March 19 that Reddam Racing Stable's Bond Holder is being treated at the Equine Medical Center of Ocala for the effects of laminitis.
In a text message, O'Neill said the connections of the FrontRunner Stakes (gr. I) winner who had been on the Kentucky Derby Trail are "guardedly optimistic." O'Neill said the 3-year-old son of Mineshaft has been at the facility for about two weeks and is being treated by Dr. John G. Peloso.
There are many cases of laminitis, but the essential definition of the disease is an inflammation of the sensitive laminae of a horse's foot. Both front and hind feet can be affected, though the disease is most common in the front hooves.
Bond Holder's troubles began when the colt was shipped to Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, for his seasonal debut in the Risen Star Stakes (gr. II). But he missed that race after injuring a hoof during an eventful ride aboard a Federal Express plane from California. He was sent to Tampa Bay Downs after plans to return him to the West Coast were aborted.
Alternate plans to run him in the Tampa Bay Derby (gr. II) were also shelved after the colt developed an abscess in the left hind hoof. He was taken to the Ocala clinic earlier this month so he could be evaluated on a 24-hour basis.
Bond Holder was the best shot O'Neill and owner Paul Reddam, who teamed to win the 2012 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) with I'll Have Another , had for this year's Derby.