Surgery to Address Roman Ruler's Ridgling Condition

Surgery to Address Roman Ruler's Ridgling Condition
Photo: Benoit
Roman Ruler to undergo surgery next week.
Fog City Stable's Roman Ruler, fifth as the 2-1 favorite in the Bessemer Trust Juvenile (gr. I) at Lone Star Park on Oct. 30, is scheduled to undergo surgery Nov. 7 to remove an undescended testicle.

"He's a cryptorchid (ridgling), and this is something we've been thinking about for a while," said trainer Bob Baffert.

Baffert did not point to the condition as an excuse for Roman Ruler's 3 3/4-length defeat at the hands of 28-1 longshot Wilko, but did say it has bothered the Fusaichi Pegasus colt in the past.

"His exercise riders have always talked about his hind end and how he swishes his tail," Baffert said. "It can be painful for some horses and gets worse as you go along. It plays on their mind, too."

A prior statement on cryptorchids or ridglings from Dr. Larry Bramlage, president of the American Association of Equine Practitioners, said: "Non-descended testicles have much-reduced fertility or are sterile, as their retention in the inguinal canal makes them ineffective at producing sperm because of the increased temperature exposure of being adjacent to the body wall. In horses with high breeding potential, the non-descended testicle may be removed and the normal testicle will be left in place. This horse is called a 'monorchid.' Monorchids can be fertile stallions."

"This is something we've been planning on doing for a long while, but we just didn't have time to do it," said Baffert, who indicated the procedure will keep Roman Ruler out of training for seven to 10 days. Baffert has not indicated what his plans are for Roman Ruler's next race.

On a lighter note, the trainer who has been unsuccessful in three previous Triple Crown bids with Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness (gr. I) winners Silver Charm, Real Quiet, and War Emblem, said: "I always said I'd sacrifice my right testicle to win the Triple Crown, but we'll sacrifice Roman Ruler's and hope he does win it."

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