Iroquois (gr. III) winner Straight Line has yet to return home from Lexington's Hagyard-Davidson-McGee Clinic, but veteran trainer Harvey Vanier and family are encouraged by the latest news on the promising 2-year-old colt.
The son of Boundary, owned by Nancy Vanier and Cartwright Thoroughbreds LLC, was rushed to the Central Kentucky clinic on Monday. He was treated for an infection in the colt's hock on the left hind leg. The first couple of days of treatment by veterinarians in that clinic were viewed as critical to the colt's future on the track and the news, so far, is good.
"He's improving," Vanier said on Friday.
"They got the infection before it got into the joint," said Nancy Vanier, the trainer's wife and the colt's co-owner. "There doesn't appear to be any damage to the joint. There's not even enough infection for them to take a culture on."
The hock infection was discovered while Straight Line was preparing to run in Friday's $200,000-added Kentucky Jockey Club (gr. II). He had breezed under jockey Brice Blanc on Saturday and appeared to be fine on the day after that work. The problem was discovered on Monday and the Vaniers and their daughter, assistant trainer Jenny Allen, quickly transported him to Hagyard-Davidson-McGee for treatment.
Straight Line had compiled a record of 3-1-0 in six starts with earnings of $166,312 before his illness. "It would be nice to be back here in May with him," said Nancy Vanier. "We know he likes the track and that's important."