05/11/2012 3:53PM

Belmont Park: Fire On Ice back in Kimmel barn

Tom Keyser
Fire On Ice suffered a condylar fracture in his left hind ankle while training toward last year's Grade 1 Champagne.

One impressive 2-year-old from last year, Fire On Ice, recently rejoined trainer John Kimmel at Belmont Park and could be back to the races before the end of the meet.

Fire On Ice won his debut by 10 3/4 lengths last August on Travers Day at Saratoga, running six furlongs in 1:09.67. He was training for a start in the Grade 1 Champagne when he suffered a condylar fracture in his left hind ankle that required surgery.

Frank Stronach had purchased 80 percent of the colt from Kimmel and Eli Ghindi after the colt’s debut.

Fire On Ice spent the winter at Stronach’s Adena Springs South in Ocala and was up to galloping 1 1/2 miles before shipping to Kimmel, the trainer said.

“He looks well,” Kimmel said. “I guess we’ll give him a week or so, and he should be ready to commence a breeze program. He was a mile-and-a-half fit when he left, and they were happy to get rid of him and I was happy to receive him.”

Kimmel said a start at the end of the Belmont meet could be realistic. If not then, it will be at Saratoga.

Vexor, who won the Grade 2 Nashua here last year for Kimmel, worked four furlongs in 47.71 seconds, the fastest of 22 moves over the Belmont main track Friday. Vexor has run once this year, a last-place finish in the OBS Sprint in March over a synthetic surface. Kimmel did not specify a return race for Vexor.

Friend Or Foe, Kimmel’s multiple stakes-winning New York-bred, has suffered a setback and remains at Niall Brennan’s farm in south Florida, Kimmel said.

“I had him breezing at Palm Meadows. He had another little area of inflammation in the suspensory branch,” Kimmel said. “I sent him back. I figured breezing him again might make it worse, so I backed off him a little bit.”

Kimmel said that subsequent X-rays on Friend Or Foe show the injury is progressing, but he will remain on the farm for at least another 30 days.