Sky Mesa gets clean bill of health.

Sky Mesa gets clean bill of health.

Anne M. Eberhardt

Bone Scan Reveals Sky Mesa Okay; Expected to Return to Training in Mid-December

A bone scan performed Tuesday confirmed that the injury suffered by Sky Mesa was a minor one. The Pulpit colt was the morning line favorite for the Oct. 26 Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I), but had to be scratched the day before the race because of what was then thought to be a sprain of the right front ankle. The nuclear scintigraphy procedure did not reveal more serious damage, according to trainer John Ward, who was interviewed at the Keeneland November breeding stock sale in Lexington Thursday.

"It showed that there wasn't any bone involvement, that it was just a simple sprain," Ward said. "It will take about six weeks for him to recuperate."

Sky Mesa is being hand-walked. He probably will return to training between Dec. 10-15, after Ward's stable moves from Kentucky to Florida.

"He was scheduled to get a rest after the Breeders' Cup, so the only thing he missed is race day," Ward said. "Vindication (who won the Juvenile) was on his game, and he and this horse were going hook up, and it was going to be tough on both of them. So if it had to happen, I'm glad it happened at the time it did. We'll have our horse sound and healthy and ready for next year."

Added Ward: "Right after it happened, Dr. (Larry) Bramlage said it would take him (Sky Mesa) about two weeks to get sound, and he was walking good today."

Sky Mesa has won all three of his career races, including the Hopeful Stakes (gr. I) and Lane's End Breeders' Futurity (gr. II).