Saratoga Notebook: Left Bank Ready to Return Home; McGaughey Reflects on Sunday Silence-Easy Goer Rivalry

By Phil Janack
Trainer Todd Pletcher said Monday that Left Bank was close to being released from a Massachusetts clinic and sent to owner Michael Tabor's Ashford Stud in central Kentucky.

Pletcher said flight arrangements were already under way and Left Bank could be moved by midweek.

"It doesn't look like it'll be today, but either tomorrow or the next day," he said. "Everything looks good."

Left Bank has been at Tufts New England Veterinary Medical Center's Hospital for Large Animals since Aug. 10, a week after tying a track record in winning the Whitney (gr. I), after developing colic-like symptoms.

He has been recovering at the clinic following surgery to remove part of his intestine, the second such procedure of his career.

"Because he's had two colic surgeries now, he would obviously be one you'd be more concerned about than, say, an average horse who hasn't had a history of that," Pletcher said. "They're monitoring him day to day. Knock on wood, everything has gone very smoothly there."

Warners, Pletcher's 3-year-old colt who became ill on Aug. 15, is also improving. He remains at Hunters Hollow Equine Clinic, just off the track grounds.

"It looks like we're making some headway on the stomach part of it," Pletcher said. Warners had been suffering from bouts of diarrhea, possibly brought on by salmonella or an intestinal tract infection,according to veterinarians.

"Our biggest concern would be some laminitis setting in, or something like that. He's shown some heat and pulse to his feet, so we're concerned about that. We're cautiously hopeful that things are going to be OK, but we are very concerned. He's going to be in the clinic for a while, I would say."

McGaughey Reflects on Sunday Silence-Easy Goer Rivalry
The death Sunday night of Sunday Silence was sad news for trainer Shug McGaughey, who finished behind the champion colt three times in his 1989 Horse of the Year campaign.

Sunday Silence, standing stud in Japan, died of a heart attack, several days after developing laminitis.

"It's sad to hear. He was a great horse," McGaughey said between races Monday. "We were on the losing end of that battle two or three times, but, I think it was great fun for all of us to go through."

Sunday Silence beat the McGaughey-trained Easy Goer by 2 1/2 lengths in the Kentucky Derby and a nose in the Preakness, before Easy Goer spoiled his Triple Crown bid with an eight-length victory in the Belmont.

The two parted ways again until the Breeders' Cup Classic at Gulfstream Park, where Sunday Silence beat Easy Goer by a neck.

"He was a very, very good racehorse, and a very good sire," McGaughey said. "It's going to be a big loss to the industry, particularly to the Japanese. It's kind of a disappointing thing for the whole game."

Spa Notes
Edgar Prado won four races on Monday -- his second straight four-win day -- to enter the fourth week of the meet leading the jockey standings with 36 victories, four more than Jerry Bailey. The two were tied going into the day, but Bailey was 0-for-4.... Regency Park, a $1 million yearling purchase two years ago by Eugene Melnyk, won his first race in Monday's third, his second since coming off a 10-month layoff. Pletcher said he would be pointed toward a Belmont allowance for his next start... Jockey
Richard Migliore took off his final two mounts Monday after being disqualified from winning the fourth race with Silver Squire, who stewards ruled interfered with runner-up Down Play and was placed second.