Surgery on The Cliff's Edge Deemed Success

Robert LaPenta's The Cliff's Edge, who suffered a fracture of the right front ankle during the running of the Oct. 2 Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I), underwent successful surgery the morning of Oct. 4 at the New Jersey Equine Clinic.

Veterinarian Patricia Hogan, who performed the surgery, said the son of Gulch suffered a displaced condylar fracture of the right front leg, which required three screws.

"He has an excellent prognosis for breeding," Hogan said. "He's very lucky he didn't do any more damage. Nick (Zito) asked me to keep him here for two weeks. I didn't need to medically, but he just wanted him to stay until the stitches come out. We have a farm here, so he'll stay with us, then ship to Vinery.

"He's a gorgeous horse, and he weighed 1,136 pounds, which I thought was pretty good considering the campaign he's had. The joint inside was in good shape and he had really nice cartilage. The fracture was the only abnormality."

"Patty said he's going to have a good life," Zito said. "What a shame this was. Can you imagine the one-two punch we could have had in the Breeders' Cup Classic (Powered by Dodge-gr. I) with Cliff and Birdstone? He was such a tough, consistent horse. I haven't even been able to sleep the last couple of nights. It has been like a morgue here at the barn. We all miss him so much."

Hogan is the same veterinarian who treated Smarty Jones when the colt was sent there after suffering fractures of his eye socket and skull in a starting-gate mishap when he was a 2-year-old.