Jim Sapara experienced the extreme highs and lows of racing all within a moment’s time when his juvenile filly Springside suffered a fracture to her right-front pastern after capturing the Nov. 29 Demoiselle Stakes (gr. II) by 9 1/2 lengths at Aqueduct.
Springside, by Awesome Again —Folly Dollar, by Digression is now recovering well at the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center in Kennett Square, Pa. after Dr. Dean Richardson performed surgery on the filly the morning of Dec. 1.
Richardson was propelled into the limelight for his work with Barbaro, the 2006 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner who shattered his right hind leg in the Preakness Stakes and succumbed to a battle with laminitis in January 2007.
“Dr. Richardson said (Springside) had fractured her right front long pastern bone in multiple places and the fracture was repaired using eight bone screws in a fiber glass cast,” Sapara told The Blood-Horse after receiving a detailed report of the surgery Dec. 3.
“She recovered well from general anesthesia in the swimming pool. She was resting comfortably in her stable and her prognosis for life and breeding soundness is very good, although many potential complications still exist.”
Springside was winning her third straight race in the Demoiselle for Sapara and his wife, Alice, and trainer Josie Carroll. Pulled up past the wire by jockey Garrett Gomez and taken off the track by van, the filly had numerous x-rays at New Bolton prior to her surgery.
“The people at Aqueduct were just unreal,” said Sapara, who owns Winsong Farm near Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and watched the race on television from his home. “Especially the morning after the race—Springside had to stay there overnight, but in the morning, (Aqueduct officials) used their special ambulance to take the horse up the ramp so she didn’t have to walk. Josie Carroll’s people wouldn’t leave the horse. They insisted on following the trailer with the horse until they turned her over to the doctor.”
When asked how he felt about Springside being in Richardson’s care, Sapara said, “We’re very pleased. Dr. Richardson has done a great job at this point so far—he’s a great communicator.”
The filly is expected to remain at New Bolton for at least eight weeks.
Springside, bred in Kentucky by Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings, was purchased for $335,000 at the 2007 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. She earned $120,000 for the Demoiselle victory, boosting her career bankroll to $190,163.