Rockport Harbor, will remain in training.

Rockport Harbor, will remain in training.

Jeff Coady

Rockport Harbor to Stay in Training

Rockport Harbor, who re-injured his right, hind foot in the March 12 Razorback Handicap (gr. III), will remain in training after an encouraging report from blacksmith Sonny Broadus, owner Rick Porter said Thursday night.

"The blacksmith spent the entire afternoon with Rockport and John (trainer Servis)," Porter said. "The initial findings are cautiously optimistic. He cut away the scar tissue on the hoof and found some additional bacteria, which he cleaned out. He could not see deep into the foot because we didn't want to cut into the meat of the foot. What he saw was promising.

"The most important decision was to make a special shoe to protect that quarter of his hoof that has been damaged and patched. The blacksmith asked John not to exercise him for four or five days. He said that 'Rocky' should feel like he has a new foot within a couple of days or less. There is no quarantee that he won't encounter additional problems when John begins to bear down on him with long gallops."

Servis said he is reserving judgment until they have an opportunity to see how the foot progresses over the next several days.

"It looked real good when he worked on it, but it wasn't quite as good (Friday) morning as I expected it to be. But he's happy and he's putting the foot down well. It could look a bit better that it does, but that's not to say it won't in the next couple of days."

Until they know more, Porter is holding off on his decision whether or not to retire the colt.

"Retirement is postponed and we will continue to train him toward a race in the future," Porter said. "The timing is uncertain. As long as he progresses and holds up under aggressive training, we will continue to keep him in training. In the event he develops soreness in his foot, we will probably retire him. It is day by day, week by week. We're optimistic and hoping for the best."