09/01/2014 11:35AM

The Big Beast to miss two months with bone chip

Barbara D. Livingston
The Big Beast will be sidelined for at least 60 days as the result of a bone chip.

The Big Beast, who became a candidate for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint with his win in last month’s Grade 1 King’s Bishop at Saratoga, will be out of action for at least 60 days, owner Alex Lieblong, said Monday. The horse is scheduled to have a bone chip removed from an ankle Tuesday.

The Big Beast was a neck winner of the King’s Bishop on Aug. 23, one start after winning a first-level allowance sprint at Saratoga with a Beyer Speed Figure of 102. He came out of the King’s Bishop with the chip in the left front ankle, said Lieblong.

Lieblong, trainer Tony Dutrow, and veterinarians met about The Big Beast last weekend at Saratoga.

“Everybody got together and said he could race, and it might not do any damage to the cartilage, but it could,” Lieblong said. “We said, ‘Let’s take it out.’ He’s just 3. He has a long stretch in front of him, and I’d rather get this knocked out now.”

Lieblong said The Big Beast shipped out of Saratoga on Monday morning. He will have the chip removed at the New Bolton Center Equine Hospital in Pennsylvania. Lieblong said the procedure is scheduled to be done standing, with a local anesthetic. The Big Beast will need a minimum of 60 days off.

Lieblong, who races the horse with his wife, JoAnn, was looking at the bright side Monday.

“He needs a little time to grow,” he joked of The Big Beast, who he estimated is more than 17 hands tall.

The Big Beast is a son of Yes It’s True. He has won 3 of 5 starts and $415,000 for the Lieblongs, who on Monday have I Spent It racing in the Grade 1 Hopeful at Saratoga.