At one point Cairo Prince was the presumptive favorite in the Kentucky Derby before some setbacks in training and underwhelming on track performance derailed his campaign. He would eventually pull out of the race altogether with an ankle injury and on Friday he’ll undergo surgery that will hopefully salvage his racing career.
The eventual diagnosis of Cairo Prince’s injury was very favorable, indicating a bone chip in his ankle. The chip was reportedly located in an unusual spot which not only made it hard to find but was more painful for the horse. His trainer, Kieran McLaughlin, described the situation:
“Dr. (Larry) Bramlage called it a vertical fracture instead of a horizontal one; a real bad spot, painful.”
The hope is that after two weeks of stall rest and three weeks of hand walking he’ll be able to resume training:
“If he checks out well, he wants him under tack soon thereafter. We’re happy as we can be for this situation. We were worried about possible infection because he was so sore. It was just in a bad spot. We’re happy to have a nice horse back in the fall.”
Cairo Prince started his three year old campaign with an impressive win in Grade 2 Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park. He wouldn’t race again until late March, settling for fourth as the favorite in the Grade 1 Florida Derby. That result left him in a precarious position with his connections concerned that he wouldn’t have enough points to qualify for the Kentucky Derby. Not long after it was determined that he would be a qualifier he had to withdraw from Derby consideration due to injury.
Cairo Prince will undergo surgery in Kentucky and spend the early part of his recovery time in Lexington, Kentucky. Once he is able to be put under tack he will ship to New York’s Belmont Park in continue his rehabilitation.
The current favorite in the Kentucky Derby is California Chrome who became the top choice following his impressive performance in the Santa Anita Derby. The Kentucky Derby will be held on May 4 at Louisville’s Churchill Downs race track.