Kentucky Derby winner Giacomo will stand at Adena Springs when racing career ends.

Kentucky Derby winner Giacomo will stand at Adena Springs when racing career ends.

Skip Dickstein

Giacomo Out for the Year; Will Stand at Adena Springs Upon Retirement

By Steve Haskin and David Schmitz
Jerry and Ann Moss' homebred Giacomo, upset winner of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) will be sidelined for the remainder of the year with a bone chip in his left front ankle, suffered in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I). Trainer John Shirreffs said the prognosis is excellent, and he is optimistic the colt will return to the races as a 4-year-old.

On Thursday, Frank Stronach announced he had purchased a majority interest in the breeding rights of Giacomo, and the son of Holy Bull will stand at his Adena Springs Kentucky farm near Midway.

"Dr. (Jeff) Blea said the ankle looks really good," Shirreffs said. "You wouldn't even know looking at him that anything was wrong. Normally, it takes three to four months after you take the chip out. Dr. (Rick) Arthur will perform the surgery here at Hollywood Park anytime between next Monday and Wednesday; then, depending on how it goes, he said he could stay here at the track and rehab."

Following the Belmont, in which Giacomo finished seventh after taking the lead nearing the quarter pole, jockey Mike Smith said Giacomo was making loud noises, indicating he likely displaced his palate. Following the race, veterinarian James Hunt attempted to get him to displace, but was unable to.

"There are lots of things that can cause a horse to displace," Shirreffs said. "He had never done that before so, when we got back to Hollywood, we gave him a complete examination, which is something I like to do after a horse has a hard campaign. The X-rays revealed the chip."

Shirreffs said things started going downhill a bit after Giacomo's stunning victory in the Derby at odds of 50-1.

"Everything was wonderful in Kentucky, and it wasn't too bad in the Preakness, but he really got upset in the stakes barn at Pimlico," Shirreffs said. "Going into the detention barn at Belmont, it was like a flashback for him. He got very mad and upset in there, and was trying to bite the pony on the track. It's really an unfortunate situation in New York.

Although the colt was closer to the pace than Shirreffs thought he'd be, he was optimistic at the head of the stretch. "When he made his move and took the lead, things got pretty exciting, at least for a short while."

As for returning next year, Shirreffs said, "He's still immature and is developing, so that bodes well for the future."

Giacomo will continue to race for the Mosses until his retirement. Stronach stands one of Holy Bull's sons, Eclipse Award winner Macho Uno , at his Adena Springs South near Ocala, Fla.

"Mr. Stronach and his son, Andy, have been big supporters of Holy Bull," said Adena Springs bloodstock adviser Jack Brothers. "Andy is always looking for an outcross (away from the Northern Dancer and Mr. Prospector lines), and Giacomo provides that. He should be a natural fit in the Adena program."

Brothers gave no date as to when Giacomo will enter stud. "We'd like for him to knock off a few big ones," he said.

Giacomo, who was produced from the Stop the Music mare Set Them Free, won the Run for the Roses, then ran third in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) prior to the Belmont. He sports a record of two wins from 10 starts and earnings of $1,966,316.