Albertus Maximus, who won the 2008 TVG Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile and 2009 Donn Handicap (gr. I) in consecutive starts but has been sidelined for the better part of two years, could be returned to training in 2011 when he is 7.
The son of Albert the Great has not been heard from since he finished sixth as the favorite in the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) in March 2009. The bay horse came out of that race with a bowed right front tendon which required surgery. He returned to training with Kiaran McLaughlin in New York earlier this year but reinjured the same leg during training.
“He broke a splint bone in the same leg,” said Rick Nichols, vice president and general manager of Sheikh Hamdan’s Shadwell Farm. “They had to take the lower part of his splint bone out and that caused a callous that irritated the suspensory so we had to stop on him again.”
Since his second surgery Albertus Maximus has been back at Shadwell’s Lexington farm. He has been walking on the exerciser machine and will be given another ultrasound next week. If all goes well, he will be shipped down to Camden Training Center in South Carolina to begin light training.
“He’s doing well right now, knock on wood,” Nichols said. “He has a lot to overcome but we’d like to give him another chance. He’s such a nice horse.”
A homebred of Brandon and Marianne Chase, Albertus Maximus was originally trained by Gary Mandella but was later transferred to the barn of Vladimir Cerin. In his third start for Cerin he won the 2008 Breeders Cup Dirt Mile at Santa Anita. After that race he was purchased privately by Sheikh Hamdan, and in January 2009 won the Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park for his only graded stakes victory.
Albertus Maximus, who is out of the Forty Niner mare Chasethewildwind, has produced a record of 6-3-2 from 17 starts for earnings of $1,328,230.