05/10/2011 2:15PM

Comma to the Top to target BC Dirt Mile after surgery

Barbara D. Livingston
Comma to the Top will have surgery next week to remove a bone chip from an ankle, but trainer Peter Miller is still hoping to make a start in this fall’s Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile.

Comma to the Top, who finished last of 19 in the Kentucky Derby last Saturday, will be pointed to the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Churchill Downs in November, if a pending ankle operation does not require a lengthy recovery, trainer Peter Miller said Tuesday.

Comma to the Top is scheduled to undergo surgery next week to have a bone chip removed from an ankle by Dr. Wayne McIlraith at a clinic in Cypress, Calif. The projected recovery time ranges from six to eight weeks to three months, Miller said.

“I need to hear what the vet sees when he goes in there,” Miller said. “If he sees minimal cartilage damage, it could be six to eight weeks or as much as 90 days. Until he gets in there, we don’t know. I’m guessing it will be eight weeks. He’s not significantly off, just a tick.”

A winner of 6 of 13 starts, Comma to the Top stalked the pace in the Kentucky Derby but faded through the stretch. Miller said Tuesday that he would like to give Comma to the Top a prep race before an intended start in the BC Dirt Mile.

“I’m hoping to try and make the Breeders’ Cup [Dirt] Mile,” he said. “It’s ambitious, but you’ve got to hope."