09/12/2011 2:07PM

Belmont Park: J C’s Pride recovering from ankle injury

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Barbara D. Livingston
J C's Pride injured his right ankle coming out of the gate in the Hopeful Stakes.

ELMONT, N.Y. – Trainer Robert Barbara hopes to get his speedy 2-year-old colt J C’s Pride back to the track later this week after the colt hurt himself in the early stages of the Grade 1 Hopeful, prompting jockey Jose Lezcano to pull him up midway through the race.

Barbara said that J C’s Pride rapped himself on the outside of his right ankle, probably coming out of the gate in the Hopeful. From there, J C’s Pride started to drift out and was pulled up midway on the far turn. J C’s Pride, who in his previous start had set a Saratoga track record for five furlongs (56.54 seconds), was the second betting choice in the Hopeful.

“Supposedly, he jumped out of the gate, he didn’t break out of there, he jumped out and as quick-footed as he is, he might have just overreached to the back part of his ankle and just stung himself real hard,” Barbara said. “There were no other marks other than that. He’s never taken a sore step, but it definitely blew up in that area. He hasn’t been lame or anything like that.”

Barbara said the swelling has diminished through hosing and icing the area but that J C’s Pride still had a little sensitivity in the area. On Monday, Barbara said he plans to give J C’s Pride a few more days of just walking the shed row with the idea of returning him to the track later in the week.

“His attitude is great, he’s running around the barn, he’s real happy, but when you touch that spot, he still flinches,” Barbara said. “We X-rayed it, and there’s nothing wrong. I’ve had horses do stuff like that and they run, but he might have just hit himself in a spot that just made him uncomfortable.”

Barbara had no immediate plan for J Cs Pride, but seemed intrigued by the Nashua being cut back in distance from one mile to six furlongs and being run at Belmont. But with that race on Oct. 2, it might be a question of whether there’s enough time to make that race.

“He’s walking the shed until the sensitivity is out of the area, which should be in a couple of days,” Barbara said. “We’ll get him back to the track and see what we got.”