Allen Jerkens

Allen Jerkens

Anne M. Eberhardt

Jerkens Resting after Heart Surgery

Hall of Fame trainer Allen Jerkens was resting comfortably Oct. 21, the day after heart surgery, according to his son, trainer Jimmy Jerkens.

The younger Jerkens said his father had two heart valves replaced at Long Island Jewish Hospital in New York Oct. 20.

Jerkens, who will start Zaftig and Doremifasllatido in Breeders’ Cup races Oct. 24, was at Santa Anita Oct. 21.

“Dad is good; I just got off the phone with Liz (Allen’s wife),” Jerkens said. “They hope to get him up and walking today. The surgery was more involved than they thought; I don’t know why he was in the (operating room) longer.

“During the last 10 days, he was having little bouts trying to get his air. It would pass and he would think he was alright, but then he got really bad. He pretty much made the decision to go to the hospital, which is amazing.”

Jerkens, 79, was stricken in December 2000 with acute pancreatitis, and spent weeks in a Florida hospital. By his own admission, the trainer said, he was “a terrible patient.”