(Aqueduct Track Notes)
Summer Bird, winner of the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), Travers (gr. I), and Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I), underwent successful surgery to repair a nondisplaced fracture of his right fore cannon bone Dec. 4 and is expected to return to racing next year.
"As long as rehab goes smoothly, he should make a full recovery,” said trainer Tim Ice of Summer Bird, who was operated on upon returning from Japan, where he suffered the injury while training for the Japan Cup Dirt. “There was no cartilage damage at all. They inserted one screw, and it went in with no problem and fit like a glove."
Summer Bird, owned by Drs. K.K. and Vilasini Jayaraman, is considered the leading contender for the Eclipse Award as the top 3-year-old male. In his most recent start, the son of Birdstone was fourth to Zenyatta in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I).
Winner of four of his nine starts for $2,323,040, Summer Bird would have been the first winner of a Triple Crown race to run in the Japan Cup Dirt.