07/08/2008 12:00AM

Chelokee healing well; stud career possible


Chelokee, a Grade 3 winner who sustained a career-ending injury in the Alysheba Stakes on May 2, is recovering well and possibly will enter stud at Vinery in 2009.

Centennial Farms has a tentative agreement with the Lexington, Ky., stud farm, veterinarian Dr. Stephen Carr, Centennial's longtime racing manager, confirmed Tuesday.

Chelokee, a 4-year-old Cherokee Run colt, remains at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, where he is being hand-walked twice daily. His veterinary handlers gradually will increase his walking time to 30 minutes twice a day and, when he is doing this comfortably, Chelokee could be released from the clinic by the end of the month, Carr said.

"All the X-rays taken have shown healing to be going very well, and the opposite foot has held up very well," Carr said. "Things are good."

Chelokee did not have any fractures but lost the ligament support in his right front ankle when he broke down during the running of the Grade 3 Alysheba. Shipped to Rood and Riddle, he underwent surgery to fuse the bones in that ankle and replace the ligaments.

"He's a beautiful horse, conformationally, so we're really looking forward to the stallion part of his career," Carr said.

Chelokee is a son of the Grade 2-placed Silver Ghost mare Dixie Ghost, making him a half-brother to Grade 2 winner Salute the Sarge and Grade 2-placed Mymich. He won the Grade 3 Northern Dancer and the Barbaro Stakes last year and also finished third in the Grade 1 Florida Derby. He retired with a record of 5 wins in 10 starts and $385,785 in earnings.