06/11/2014 2:27PM

Commissioner to have ankle chip removed

Tom Keyser
Commissioner, shown after his his close runner-up effort in the Belmont. He could return to the races in the fall.

Commissioner, the Belmont Stakes runner-up, will miss the summer’s major races in the 3-year-old division due to a chip in his left front ankle that will require surgery, according to a press release issued Wednesday by his owner, the WinStar Farm.

Commissioner will have the chip removed this week by Dr. Larry Bramlage at the Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky., according to the release.

Following his head loss to Tonalist in Saturday’s Belmont Stakes, Commissioner on Sunday was sent to WinStar Farm where he was scheduled to get a freshening before targeting a summer schedule that was to include the Haskell at Monmouth Park in July and the Travers at Saratoga in August.

“The first day back he looked good, but on the second day he had some filling in his left ankle,” Elliott Walden, WinStar’s president and CEO, said in a release. “We took X-rays and discovered he had a small lateral P1 chip that Dr. Bramlage said would be very easy to take out. He’ll obviously get the proper recovery time, but there’s a good chance Commissioner will be able to return by the fall.”

Commissioner, a son of A.P. Indy, nearly stole last Saturday’s Belmont Stakes on the front end, getting caught in the final two strides by Tonalist. He had also finished second to Tonalist in the Grade 2 Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont on May 10.

“It’s always disappointing when you have a setback with such a talented and improving colt like Commissioner, especially with races like the Haskell and Travers around the corner,” Walden said. “I believe he was set to have a big summer. But the good news is the chip is in a favorable spot, and we expect him to be back to 100 percent soon. We’ve always been very high on Commissioner, and he’s only going to continue to get better and better.”