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Rick Samuels

Commissioner to Undergo Ankle Surgery

Minor chip discovered in left front ankle of Belmont Stakes runner-up June 9.

WinStar Farm's Commissioner , runner-up to Tonalist  in the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park, has a small chip in his front left ankle and will undergo surgery at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital near Lexington, according to a release sent June 11.

The 3-year-old son of A.P. Indy is scheduled for a small surgical procedure to have the chip removed by Dr. Larry Bramlage at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital near Lexington.

"Commissioner was sent back to WinStar Farm on Sunday (June 8) for a brief freshening before targeting the major late-summer 3-year-old races. The first day back he looked good, but on the second day he had some filling in his left ankle," said Elliott Walden, WinStar's president and CEO. "We took X-rays and discovered he had a small lateral P1 chip that Dr. Bramlage said would be very easy to take out. He'll obviously get the proper recovery time, but there's a good chance Commissioner will be able to return by the fall."

Commissioner turned in his best career performance to date in the final jewel of the Triple Crown, leading every step of the way in the 1 1/2-mile classic before finishing second by a head at the wire.

Prior to the Belmont Commissioner was also runner-up to Tonalist in the Peter Pan Stakes (gr. II) at Belmont, and his current form made him a rising sophomore to watch heading into the second half of the year.

"It's always disappointing when you have a setback with such a talented and improving colt like Commissioner, especially with races like the Haskell and Travers (both gr. I) around the corner," Walden said. "I believe he was set to have a big summer. But the good news is the chip is in a favorable spot, and we expect him to be back to 100% soon. We've always been very high on Commissioner, and he's only going to continue to get better and better."

Commissioner broke his maiden at Saratoga Race Course as a 2-year-old, and started his 3-year-old campaign off with an allowance victory over the highly-regarded Top Billing at Gulfstream Park.

From the final crop of A.P. Indy, Commissioner has a record of 2-3-1 from eight starts with earnings of $515,767 to date. He is out of the multiple stakes-winning Touch Gold mare Flaming Heart, and is a half-brother to current grade III winner and 2013 Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) runner-up Laugh Track.