Updated on 09/16/2011 8:12AM

Forever Partners retired with knee injury


ELMONT, N.Y. - Forever Partners, who finished second as the favorite in the Grade 1 Spinaway Stakes on Aug. 30, has suffered a slab fracture of her right knee and will be retired, trainer Tony Dutrow said Saturday.

Dutrow said doctors at the New Bolton Center veterinary clinic in southeast Pennsylvania are looking at the X-rays of the knee to determine whether Forever Partners will need surgery in order to handle a broodmare career. Dutrow said horses can come back and race following a slab fracture, but he and the owners, Robert White's Skeedattle Stable, don't want to take a chance.

"It's the owner's decision," Dutrow said. "They are happy they got their filly back in one piece. We think she's a special filly; we wouldn't want the same thing to happen again and not get her back to the barn. We'll probably keep her and breed her and hopefully, she'll give us a special baby."

Dutrow believes that Forever Partners injured herself during the Spinaway, in which she raced three wide, vied for the leading turning for home, but couldn't keep up with Awesome Humor.

"When Johnny Velazquez got off her he told me something's up," Dutrow said. "He said, 'At the top of the stretch I had a lot of horse and when she switched to her right lead she put her toes in the ground.' "

Forever Partners, a New Jersey-bred daughter of Not for Love, won her first two starts, including the Colleen Stakes at Monmouth Park. Prior to the Spinaway, Dutrow said Forever Partners was the best 2-year-old filly he ever trained and she wound up going off the 2-1 favorite in the 12-horse field.

Volponi fires Belmont BC bullet

Volponi, who won the Poker Handicap when last seen on Belmont turf, worked six furlongs in 1:13.85 over Belmont's main track Saturday in preparation for next Saturday's $200,000 Belmont Breeders' Cup Handicap. It was the fastest of six works at the distance by 1.17 seconds.

According to Belmont's clockers, Volponi went his first eighth in 14.20 seconds, meaning he went his last five-eighths in 59.65 seconds.

"It was a good work for him," trainer Phil Johnson said. "He's on schedule. He's coming off three races pretty close together and now he'll have almost a month in between. He's doing well."

Volponi had three races in seven weeks, finishing second in the Bernard Baruch and third in the Sword Dancer following his Poker win. Johnson said he will see how Volponi performs in Saturday's race and the Grade 2 Kelso on Oct. 5 before deciding whether his horse is worthy of running in the Breeders' Cup Mile.

"He'd have to tell us by results that he's a Breeders' Cup horse," Johnson said.

The Grade 2 Belmont Breeders' Cup, run at nine furlongs, does not appear to be coming up strong. The only other definites are Dr. Kashnikow, Revved Up, and Startac. Possible runners include Capsized, Full Flow, and Spruce Run.

Hennig's stakes stars on work tab

Four of trainer Mark Hennig's stakes stars put in workouts Saturday morning over Belmont's main track for upcoming stakes engagements.

Summer Colony, the leading handicap filly and mare in the East, worked five furlongs in 1:02.25. It was her first work since winning the Grade 1 Personal Ensign Handicap at Saratoga. Summer Colony will skip next Saturday's Ruffian and make her next start in the Beldame on Oct. 6.

Jose Sanchez, an assistant to Hennig and the regular exercise rider of Summer Colony, said the filly has never been better.

"She felt so strong today," Sanchez said. "I feel the change of weather is going to help her real big. I've been getting on her all year and she feels the strongest she's been."

Raging Fever, coming off a second-place finish in the Grade 1 Ballerina Handicap, breezed four furlongs in 47.25 seconds in preparation for next Saturday's Grade 1 Ruffian. It was the fastest of 48 moves at the distance.

Gold Mover, who finished fourth as the favorite in the Honorable Miss last time out, worked four furlongs in 48.98 seconds. She will try to win her second straight Floral Park Handicap next Saturday.

Gygistar, who won the Grade 1 King's Bishop last out, worked four furlongs in 48.65 seconds as he begins preparation for the Breeders' Cup Sprint on Oct. 26 at Arlington Park.

Sandy may shop out of town

Trainer Victor Cuadra said Say Florida Sandy, who finished sixth as the even-money favorite in Friday's General Douglas MacArthur Handicap, may be running in out-of-town stakes in order to run with less weight. Say Florida Sandy carried 125 pounds in the MacArthur, a concession of seven to 11 pounds to the field.

"It's kind of difficult for us to run in New York-bred races anymore because he's always going to get high weight," Cuadra said of Say Florida Sandy, the richest New York-bred in history. "We're thinking about running him next time in open company and hopefully we get 117 or 118 pounds. Actually, 118 pounds I think is fair for him, he'll perform very good. If it's not here, we'll see out of town."