03/10/2013 11:46AM

Fort Larned fine after stumbling and losing rider in Gulfstream Park Handicap

Eleanor Gustafson
Fort Larned finished far ahead of the rest of the field after losing jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. at the start of the Gulfstream Park Handicap.

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. - Trainer Ian Wilkes reported  Sunday morning that Fort Larned was doing well less than 12 hours after stumbling badly and losing his rider leaving the starting gate in the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Handicap.

“He’s walking good this morning,” said Wilkes shortly before dawn Sunday at Palm Meadows. “The cuts he sustained when stumbling are not that bad, just superficial. We’ll know more in a couple of days.”

Wilkes said Fort Larned appeared to have grabbed his left front foot near the middle of the heel after losing his footing two strides out of the starting gate while making his first start Saturday since winning the Breeders’ Cup Classic four and one-half months earlier.  Jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. told Wilkes Fort Larned just overstrided and lost his footing at the start. Fort Larned picked himself up after the incident and quickly blew past the rest of the field, crossing the finish line nearly 15 lengths in front of the official winner, Discreet Dancer.

“I guess I’ll have to go back to the tape of the race and time him and see how fast he actually ran,” Wilkes said with a smile. “He still ran hard. He was a little tired this morning, but once I took him out of the stall he brightened up. He got something out the race even though it doesn’t count.”

Wilkes said he’s given no real thought to what might be next for Fort Larned, although he did acknowledge he’d probably nominate him to several of the upcoming stakes in the handicap division, including the Grade 3 Skip Away at Gulfstream on March 30.

Crickett Hoffman More than 1 year ago
I'll say he got something out of it. He knows he doesn't have to listen to the monkey on his back to win.
Justin More than 1 year ago
When a horse stumbles like that out of the gate, sometimes it is the starter/handler in the gate that is to blame. I couldn't tell in this situation though..
Nicholas Heaven More than 1 year ago
He was not gonna beat the winner anyway. This is a horse that loves the track and the distant and condition of the race came up in his favor.
noalaistoday More than 1 year ago
That is a foolish statement. Who knows!!! Maybe he comes out and runs them all off there feet as "Dude" did in the "Big Cap". Or, maybe , he tires on the lead and fizzles. We will never know.
Teri Blaser More than 1 year ago
Glad he is okay! One has to say that he really does know where the finish line is and that he knows how to do his job! Obviously, with a jockey he would have blown the field out of the water. May his next race go better!
Nicholas Heaven More than 1 year ago
Hes running against conditioned horses. He hasnt ran in 5 months. He had no chance.
Julie Gregory More than 1 year ago
i think it was a pretty crapy payouts concidering this happened to the odds on horse.idk
Bruce Baudoux More than 1 year ago
Small field, second choice won, what do you expect?
Union_Rags More than 1 year ago
Thank GOD he seems to be O.K.
John Flynn More than 1 year ago
Brian Hernandez JR is a GREAT Rising Star & these things happen in Horse Racing. Thank God it didn't happen for $5 Million. They will be back to Fight Another Day.
Albert More than 1 year ago
Great workout.
Advance Plumbing More than 1 year ago
This horse should of run againstg Game on Dude last wk , all theses good horses stay away from each other , what a shame, us handicappers get scewed all the time by there greed..
Ryan Jones More than 1 year ago
You sir, need to go back to school (as you ignorantly told another poster below). You wanted a horse to come off about a 20 week layoff to return in a Grade I race at 10furlongs across the country? They have preps for a reason.. The Big Cap is a goal, not a prep.
Bruce Baudoux More than 1 year ago
Grammar school first, he's made it this far in velcro running shoes, let him learn how to articulate properly first, please.
Bruce Baudoux More than 1 year ago
He has already trounced the Dude, the Champ has nothing to prove in the Golden State. Bring the pretenders to his back yard, Fort Larned will beat Game On Dude everytime they are in the same gate.
Bruce Baudoux More than 1 year ago
It's a good thing you are a tradesman. You couldn't spell your way out of a one way st.
Richard More than 1 year ago
None of those horses were in his class. He stumbled and threw his jockey Hernandez off. This was the fourth race in a row that Hernandez rode him, which includes his win in The Breeders’ Cup Classic plus Hernandez has ridden him before. Gulfstream has been extremely unlucky for horses like Fort Larned and Mucho Macho Man. Fort Larned kept running without a rider. I had made a comment that I did not see the purpose of racing the best routers in the country against sprinters. Unfortunately things like this do happen sometime. I am wondering why these strange things seem to happen at Gulfstream.