Roar of the Tiger Launches Comeback

Roar of the Tiger, a full brother to European star Giant's Causeway, breezed a half-mile on Thursday at Churchill Downs as the 5-year-old took another positive step in his latest comeback from injury.

The son of Storm Cat covered four furlongs in :48 under jockey Larry Melancon. The move over a "fast" track ranked seventh of 29 at the distance and was his second work since he returned to training following surgery for an ankle injury suffered over the winter. He last raced for trainer Lynn Whiting on Jan. 24, when he won a prep for the Essex Handicap (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park.

"He's on schedule," said Whiting. "He's a horse that carries of lot of flesh and requires a lot of training. But he's doing everything in a fashion that is pleasing to you right now."

Roar of the Tiger suffered a condylar fracture to the cannon bone in a hind leg after that victory. Equine surgeon Dr. Larry Bramlage inserted a pair of screws in the injured bone, which has healed perfectly.

Whiting has been so encouraged by Roar of the Tiger's return to training that he is again thinking about possible success in type of races that would turn his well-bred horse into a stallion prospect.

"He's a pretty good horse," said Whiting. "Hopefully we can win a stakes race with him this fall and the obvious long range goal would be to get a graded stakes race in him."

The latest injury to Roar of the Tiger came only two races into his return from a yearlong layoff that had interrupted a promising start to his career on American shores. He finished a troubled third behind Mineshaft  in a Churchill Downs allowance race in November 2002 that served as the U.S. debut for both horses.

Mineshaft would go on to earn "Horse of the Year" honors in 2003, but Roar of the Tiger's progress was interrupted by injury following a pair of allowance wins.

If all goes well, Whiting hopes to have Roar of the Tiger racing again by early August. His career record now stands at 4-0-1 in nine races and he is 3-0-1 in his five U.S. starts.