12/05/2011 12:30PM

Fair Grounds: Nehro preparing for 2012 comeback

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Barbara D. Livingston
Nehro, runner-up in the Kentucky Derby and fifth in the Belmont Stakes, has resumed training at Fair Grounds, but no firm plans have been made for his first comeback race.

NEW ORLEANS -- Nehro, who finished second in the Louisiana Derby, Arkansas Derby, and Kentucky Derby earlier this year, joined Steve Asmussen’s string at Fair Grounds last week and has resumed daily gallops preparing for a 2012 campaign.

Nehro had surgery to remove a bone chip in his ankle less than a week after finishing fourth in the June 11 Belmont Stakes. The surgery reportedly went well, and Nehro actually joined up with Asmussen’s string at Saratoga later in the summer.

“We had him there, and with the Breeders’ Cup at Churchill, where he had run so well, we were hoping to get him to the Classic,” Asmussen said this past weekend at Fair Grounds. “But at Saratoga, we felt like he needed more time.”

So Nehro, a Mineshaft colt owned by Zayat Stables, wound up at WinStar Farm, where he got an another break before beginning light exercise there earlier this fall.

“He looked fabulous when he came in,” said Asmussen.

While Asmussen and Zayat might have half an eye on the $400,000 New Orleans Handicap on April 1, Asmussen can exercise any number of options when he’s ready to send Nehro into a comeback race. Despite his national reputation and a career bankroll of $885,140, Nehro’s only win came in a maiden race, meaning he is eligible for any open allowance race that comes up on the Fair Grounds schedule.