Fleet Indian Has Fetlock Fused, Injury Occurred in Breeders' Cup

Fleet Indian, who suffered an injury to her left front suspensory ligament during the Nov. 4 running of the Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) at Churchill Downs, had surgery Nov. 20 to fuse her left front fetlock.

Owner Paul Saylor said the surgery was performed by Dr. Larry Bramlage at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital near Lexington. "She's doing very well," Saylor said Nov. 21.

Saylor said the decision to perform the surgery came after Bramlage X-rayed the 5-year-old daughter of Indian Charlie's knees and ankles in an effort to determine the best way to stabilize her left front leg support system.

"We kept looking to see if she was standing up on her pastern or fetlock and not putting too much weight on her right foot," her owner said. "Dr. Bramlage felt like the best way to stabilize the left front leg support system was to fuse the left front fetlock, which basically means she has a plate that goes in the front and that gives the fetlock support so she can stand up a lot better than she could otherwise once the healing is done.

"We reviewed other possibilities and because I want to take a shot at breeding her next year, and because of the fact, medically speaking, he thought this was the best way to give the leg support and not endanger the right leg and it wasn't a big deal operation, I said let's go ahead."

Saylor said Bramlage reported Fleet Indian came out of the surgery in good order. "His quote as of yesterday, and when I saw him again today, was that it went as well as it possibly could," he said. "She is up in her stall, she's got her head down in her hay, and she's moving around on both legs."

Fleet Indian is expected to undergo up to 30 days of convalescence at Rood & Riddle and then be hand-walked for another 30 days. "She should be ready to rock 'n' roll after that," Saylor said.

Saylor said future plans for his multiple grade I winner are still up in the air. "What I will probably do is go ahead and breed her and either sell her in foal or just keep her," he said.

Bred in New York by Becky Thomas and Lewis Lakin, Fleet Indian earned $1,704,513 while winning 13 of 19 starts, including seven in stakes company.