04/12/2003 12:00AM

Hairline fracture sidelines 'Silver' before Blue Grass


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Badge of Silver, who suffered a fractured cannon bone that resulted in his being scratched from Saturday's Toyota Blue Grass Stakes, was scheduled to undergo surgery on Monday at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital to insert a screw in the cracked bone, according to his trainer, Ronny Werner.

"He should come back 100 percent, again," Werner said Saturday afternoon at Keeneland.

Badge of Silver suffered a hairline fracture of his right front cannon bone Friday at Keeneland. The injury is similar to a fracture he suffered one year ago after winning his debut at Keeneland. He had surgery at Rood and Riddle then, too, and had two screws inserted. They were later removed in a second surgery.

Badge of Silver had a routine gallop Friday morning. That afternoon, Werner took him out of his stall to let the colt graze. Werner said he noticed Badge of Silver was favoring his right foreleg. X-rays were taken, which revealed the fracture.

"It's a hairline crack, an inch above where he had the fracture last year," said Werner, who became emotional when he learned the news Friday. "It's tough to take. I'm just glad we caught it [Friday]. If he would have run [in the Blue Grass], he would have been hurt badly."

Werner said "we're all heartbroken" on Friday, but by Saturday he was in better spirits, though still disappointed.

"Everybody's been really nice and supportive," he said.

Badge of Silver, a 3-year-old colt by Silver Deputy, won the first three starts of his career, including the Risen Star Stakes. He suffered the only loss of his career in his most recent start, the Louisiana Derby, in which he finished sixth as the 6-5 favorite. He is owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey.

Werner got a consolation prize on Saturday's card when the 3-year-old gelding Forest Landing won the fifth race, an entry-level allowance.