Bill Farish Jr.’s Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) winner Pool Play has been diagnosed with a season-ending injury that will likely mark the end of his career, trainer Mark Casse confirmed July 21.
A tear was discovered in the upper part of the 6-year-old horse’s left tendon on July 20 when the trainer had an ultrasound conducted after he noticed filling in the leg the day before.
Pool Play, who took the June 18 Stephen Foster at Churchill Downs with a last-to-first run at odds of 36-1 in his first dirt start, was under consideration for the Whitney Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga on Aug. 6. The Canada-bred son of Silver Deputy last turned in a five-furlong breeze at Churchill on July 10 before shipping to Saratoga where he would have worked on July 20 had the injury not been detected.
“It doesn’t even look bad this morning if you were to look at it, but we know him so well, and he’s too good a horse to take a shot at hurting him,” Casse said. “I talked to Bill and we just decided to call it a year.”
Pool Play spent the majority of his career on synthetics and turf, his other stakes wins coming in the Durham Cup (Can-III) and the Valedictory Stakes at Woodbine. He compiled six wins from 28 starts and earnings of $909,556.
“Pool Play’s been with us for a long time, he’s been the iron horse for us,” Casse said. “He runs on dirt, he runs on grass, he runs on synthetic, and has been really sound throughout his career. It’s tough, right now we’re pretty much in shock and it’s a big loss for us. But he has a really nice pedigree and will make somebody a wonderful stallion. He’s a beautiful horse with a wonderful temperament.”
Pool Play was bred in Ontario, Canada by Windfields Farm and is out of the Cox's Ridge mare Zuri Ridge.