Robert LaPenta's The Cliff's Edge, who finished third in Saturday's Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) suffered a fracture of the right front ankle during the running of the race and is scheduled to undergo surgery at the New Jersey Equine Clinic on Monday. Trainer Nick Zito said the injury is not life threatening.
The Cliff's Edge, who will be retired to The Vinery in Lexington, Ky., appeared to be making a winning move on the outside, but was unable to sustain it, finishing 1 3/4 lengths behind the winner. Funny Cide.
"Gary (jockey Stevens) said he felt something on the turn, but the horse kept going," Zito said. "Coming back after the race, he could really feel something, and we just felt it was his feet stinging him. But when he was in the spit box he wouldn't cool out, so they brought him to the barn. Dr. (James) Hunt X-rayed him and discovered the fracture. It's a high fracture and doesn't involve the sesamoids. There wasn't any wear and tear in the ankle and the joints were good. He put a cast on him, and the horse will be operated on by Patty (Dr. Patricia) Hogan on Monday at the New Jersey Equine Clinic.
"He's been such a great, consistent horse all his life, and even Gary said, 'Man. He just kept going; what a warrior.' Not to take anything away from Funny Cide, but I really believe this was going to be his big race," Zito continued. "This may have all started back in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) when he threw two shoes and eventually came down with severe foot bruise, which was the same leg he injured in the Gold Cup. Despite everything, he ran hard and gave his all every race, and was always right there."
The Cliff's Edge, a son of Gulch
, out of Zigember, by Danzig and bred by Stonerside Stables, retires with five victories from 13 starts for earnings of $1,265,268, while finishing in the money 11 times. He captured the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I), Kentucky Jockey Club (gr. II), and Iroquois Stakes (gr. II). He finshed second in Travers (gr. I), Dwyer (gr. II), Jim Dandy (gr. II), and Sam F. Davis Stakes, and was third in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) and Florida Derby (gr. I).