Knee Surgery for Stakes Winner Sum Trick

Stan Fulton's stakes-winning 3-year-old Sum Trick will be out of action for at least three months after undergoing surgery to remove chips from both front knees, trainer Rafael Becerra said. The son of Favorite Trick last raced on May 3 when he finished third in an allowance event over a wet-fast track at Hollywood Park.

"He had some big (chips) in his one knee and since we did the one, we decided to go ahead and clean out the other knee even though there wasn't a whole lot in there," Becerra said. "It's a good time to do it, too. We took care of it and now we'll have a good, sound horse later this year and beyond."

Sum Trick, who is from the first crop of 1997 Horse of the Year Favorite Trick, broke his maiden by winning the $161,761 Riley Allison Futurity at Sunland Park in December. In his first start as a sophomore, he finished 4 ½ lengths behind Kafwain in the Santa Catalina Stakes (gr. II) on Feb. 1 at Santa Anita. But he was unplaced in two subsequent stakes starts before his May 3 effort. Overall the bay colt has earned $137,291 from a record of 6-1-2-1.

Sum Trick will recuperate at a nearby farm and won't likely return to training until September, Becerra said.

Becerra also reported that former claimer Special Matter will be turned out and freshened for a few weeks. The son of River Special, who was claimed by Becerra for $12,500, was fifth in an allowance event at Hollywood Park on Saturday. He won last year's Carleton F. Burke Handicap (gr. IIIT) and finished second in this year's San Luis Obispo (gr. IIT) and San Luis Rey Stakes (gr. IIT).

"He's had a long, hard year and he deserves a break," Becerra said. "He's been a good horse and tries every time, but I think some time off will be the best for him right now."