07/21/2011 12:00PM

Awesome Maria out for the year with a condylar fracture

Barbara D. Livingston
Awesome Maria underwent surgery Wednesday to repair a condylar fracture to her left foreleg.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Awesome Maria, among the leaders in a very deep distaff division, will miss the remainder of the year after suffering a condylar fracture of her left foreleg, trainer Todd Pletcher said Thursday.

Awesome Maria was diagnosed with the injury after working five furlongs in 1:02.12 Monday morning over Saratoga’s main track in preparation for a start in the Grade 1, $250,000 Ruffian Invitational Handicap here on July 31. She underwent surgery on Wednesday at the Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Kentucky, where Dr. Larry Bramlage inserted two screws to stabilize the non-displaced fracture.

While the injury is not necessarily deemed career-ending, a decision on whether Awesome Maria will return to race next year will be made at a later date, Pletcher said. Awesome Maria, a daughter of Maria’s Mon, is owned by Joyce Robsham.

“It compressed really well, she was sound following the surgery which is always a good indication that they’ll return to full capability if Mrs. Robsham decides to race her again next year,” Pletcher said. “It will be an option.”

Awesome Maria was 4 for 4 this year with victories in the Sabin and Rampart – both Grade 3 events at Gulfstream Park – as well as the Grade 2 Shuvee and Grade 1 Ogden Phipps – both at Belmont Park. Overall, Awesome Maria had a record of 7-3-1 from 12 career starts and earnings of $842,375.

“It’s really disappointing, she seemed like she was in career form,” Pletcher said. “She was 4 for 4 on the year, coming off a Grade 1 win; we were looking forward to the Ruffian.”

Pletcher will still be represented in the Ruffian by Super Espresso, a filly owned by celebrity chef Bobby Flay who won the Grade 3 Allaire DuPont Distaff at Pimlico on May 21. Most recently, Super Espresso finished third behind Awesome Maria in the Phipps.

Others from the original list of invitees pointing to the Ruffian include Absinthe Minded, Distorted Legacy, and Payton d’Oro. An alternate list of invitees and weight assignments will be released on Monday.