06/13/2006 12:00AM

Filly who beat colic set to run


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Just days after returned from a Jan. 7 race at Louisiana Downs to a private farm in Lexington, the filly came down with a case of colic that, under different circumstances, might well have taken her life.

"She began exhibiting signs of colic at 8 o'clock one morning," said Dr. Greg Fox, a licensed veterinarian who trains Lady Dynasty for Nancy and Richard Kaster. "By 8:30, she was thrashing around in acute pain. By 9, she was being prepped for surgery at the Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, and by 10, she was already recovering from surgery."

Several months later, Lady Dynasty is ready to race again, and she will do just that in the feature race Thursday at Churchill Downs, where the 4-year-old filly will be part of a six-horse field in the seventh of nine races. Fox said the filly "probably has been training better than she ever has," and he is confident she will be a major factor in the $62,000, third-level allowance at 6 1/2 furlongs.

Fox, 44, is a 1989 graduate of the Tufts University veterinary school, and until February 2005, was a practicing racetrack veterinarian, working several years in Maryland before moving to Kentucky about 12 years ago. But after he and his wife, Jamie, a former trainer, were expecting a child, Fox made the rare career switch from vet to trainer. The couple's son, Tyler, recently had his first birthday, and Fox is still training 22 horses at his 37-acre Fox Stables, the former Garden Glens Farm adjacent to the Thoroughbred Training Center.

"I always wanted to learn more about taking care of racehorses," said Fox. "As a vet, you don't really have a chance to learn the details of managing and caring for a horse in the thorough way that trainers do. I'm really enjoying it."

Clearly, it was Fox's veterinary expertise that allowed him to make an early diagnosis of Lady Dynasty's colic in January, and it was his quick reactions that led to her life being saved. "The proximity to the Hagyard clinic is one of the many advantages to our farm," he added.

When Lady Dynasty returns Thursday, Fox expects her to face a stern early challenge from Flying Falcon - but, he said, "our horse can be very hard to get past when she's on her game."