Del Mar Race Report (Cont.)

"We always say the less time on a surgery table, the better off you are as far as recoveries go," explained Dr. Sam Bradley, Bosque Redondo's routine veterinarian. "Usually the faster surgeries are the better surgeries."

Assisted by his wife, Dr. Nancy Goodman, as well as Dr. Ricky Overly, McIlwraith fused the 5-year-old's ankle joint with a metal plate and 16 screws, the same technique he used last fall to save turf star Manndar. The entire process took less than two hours.

"He was really happy with the surgery," Bradley said on Aug. 29, adding that Bosque Redondo's leg is currently supported by a fiberglass cast. "The horse got up with no problem and is bearing full weight on it. He is doing as well as you can imagine. Everything has gone right every step of the way."

Bosque Redondo will remain at Equine Medical Center through mid-September before being transported to Eskay Creek Farm in nearby Bradbury. Fortunately, the son of Mane Minister has been an ideal patient from the start, eating properly, laying down periodically, and accepting medical treatment without resistance. According to Bradley, a positive attitude quite often makes all the difference.

"It is amazing how well those horses do compared to other horses. They just take care of themselves," he remarked. "Those horses that are under high stress or don't handle stress well usually have a lesser chance of surviving a catastrophic problem."

Azeri's Secret

Azeri emerged from her easy victory in the Clement L. Hirsch Handicap (gr. II) in August in super shape, but the daughter of Jade Hunter may not run again until the Breeders' Cup Distaff. However, the Oct. 2 Lady's Secret Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Oak Tree remains a strong option.

"It's either or," said Azeri's trainer, Laura de Seroux. "Once the Clement Hirsch was run and we saw the way she came out of that, that's when I started thinking the Lady's Secret in fact would be a perfect prep for her. But I'm holding out the threat of not running because of the weight."

In July, Azeri carried 125 pounds in the Vanity Handicap (gr. I), then won the Clement Hirsch under 126. Depending on the weights for the Lady's Secret, de Seroux may instead choose to give the filly a simulated race in early October. She envisions a full-blown workout with a pair of stablemates in between races at Santa Anita.

"It's been done a lot," de Seroux noted. "That would get her as tight as we need to be for the Breeders' Cup. I would feel confident with that. She's really easy." b

At the Wire
While Miss Houdini has been a pleasant surprise for Warren Stute, his barn will definitely miss the presence of Go Go, who has been retired by owners Alan, Paula, and Roger Thomas. Bought for just $22,000, the Falstaff mare blossomed into one of the nation's top female sprinters on both dirt and grass, winning six stakes and more than $625,000...T hey came at him the entire way, but Congaree fought them all off. The Arazi colt was back at his best on Sept. 2, beating five others to win the $250,000 Del Mar Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at a mile. Under Mike Smith, Congaree won by a length for Janice and Bob McNair's Stonerside Stable. Trainer Bob Baffert has mentioned the Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) as the ultimate target... A bad spill on the grass on Aug. 30 sent jockey Eddie Delahoussaye to a nearby hospital. Though the incident cost the 50-year-old Hall of Famer the mount on Miss Houdini, he fortunately escaped without major injury. "He's just body sore. Nothing serious," said Delahoussaye's agent, Ray Kravagna, adding that Delahoussaye will not ride the remainder of the meeting. "At his age, you hit the ground hard. The horse gave him no warning." Delahoussaye's mount, Seeingisbelieving, fractured his right front cannon bone and was euthanized... Dodging the quarter-crack woes that have generally plagued his career, Crafty C. T. looked strong winning a six-furlong allowance on Aug. 30. Trainer Howard Zucker, however, is leaning against aiming Carl Grether's son of Crafty Prospector toward the Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I)...Trainer Ron McAnally brought back Printemps in the one-mile Piedra Foundation Handicap on Aug. 30, but the Chilean mare could not catch Netherland. Owned by Alan Gilbert and Mike Pegram, the 4-year-old filly beat Printemps by three-quarters of a length. Baffert trains... The Solana Beach Handicap on Sept. 2 went to Harris Farms' homebred Super High. The High Brite filly ripped a mile on grass in 1:33.65 for trainer Carla Gaines.

(Chart, Equibase)