03/19/2012 2:51PM

Dialed In to have surgery to remove knee chip


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Dialed In, the 2011 Florida Derby winner, will undergo minor surgery to have a small chip removed from his right knee, trainer Nick Zito said on Monday.

Zito said the surgery, which will be performed by Dr. Larry Bramlage, will require Dialed In to miss approximately 60 days of training. Dialed In, who is owned by Robert LaPenta, had a chip removed from the same knee by Bramlage following his fourth-place finish in the 2011 Preakness.

“He’s been a very sound horse all winter, but we noticed a little swelling in his knee last week and after taking X-rays discovered a small chip,” Zito said. “It’s just a sliver, not nearly the same type of situation we had to deal with last spring. We could probably have kept him in training without doing the surgery, but after discussing the situation with Mr. LaPenta, we decided it would be in Dialed In’s best interests in the long run to have it removed.”

Dialed In won both the Grade 3 Holy Bull and Grade 1 Florida Derby here last winter before finishing eighth as the 5-1 favorite in the Kentucky Derby. Dialed In was eligible for a $5 million bonus if he had won the Preakness as a result of his earlier victories in the Holy Bull and Florida Derby.

Dialed In made his 2012 debut here earlier this month in a high-priced optional claiming race, finishing fourth as the even-money favorite behind Pants On Fire.

“Naturally we are very disappointed, but it’s a long year and If all goes well he should be back in training in a couple of months and ready to go for the second half of the season,” said Zito.