11/23/2012 3:49PM

Churchill Downs: Neck 'n Neck has successful surgery


Neck ’n Neck, the late-blooming 3-year-old who would have been one of the favorites Friday in the Clark, underwent successful surgery for a fractured sesamoid Wednesday at the Woodford Equine Hospital in Versailles, Ky., according to trainer Ian Wilkes.

“The doctors said everything went very well,” said Wilkes. “Now we’ll wait and see how he does for the next six months or so.”

Neck ’n Neck, a 3-year-old colt by Flower Alley, won the Indiana Derby and Ack Ack Handicap in his last two starts before incurring the injury in a routine workout Sunday.

Big Thanksgiving for Sims

Phil Sims enjoyed a terrific Thanksgiving Day, sending out back-to-back winners on the Thursday card, and almost winning with another horse at big odds. Sims, based throughout his 32-year career in Lexington, won the seventh with Surprise Surprise ($22.20) and the eighth with Don’t Tell Sophia ($5.40) before Paroled was beaten just a head at 24-1 in the 10th, a turf allowance.

Don’t Tell Sophia has been a star-in-waiting for Sims, who will take a 16-horse stable to Oaklawn Park this winter. The 4-year-old filly was turning back in distance and changing surfaces when capturing the 6 1/2-furlong dirt allowance.

“It just kind of happened because I really wanted to get a race in her and this was the only thing that filled for her,” said Sims.

For added measure, Sims came back with another winner Friday when Ready for More ($12) took the fourth race, a $56,000 allowance.

* Jockey and trainer races were still close as the 21-day fall meet entered its final three-day stretch Friday. Corey Lanerie, the runaway leader at the spring meet, held a 25-22 lead over Shaun Bridgmohan atop the rider standings, while the trainers’ race was even tighter. Stall led with 11 wins but had far fewer entries over the last three days, meaning Dale Romans and Ken McPeek (10 wins each after Thursday) likely would be battling it out for the title.

* Because Sunday ends a race meet, there will be mandatory payoffs in all jackpot wagers, even in the case of no perfect tickets. Those wagers are the $2 pick six, the 50-cent pick five, and the $1 super high five.