10/22/2008 12:00AM

Jerkens mending after surgery


Hall of Fame trainer Allen Jerkens was recovering well after undergoing heart surgery on Monday, according to his son, the trainer Jimmy Jerkens.

"He seemed to be doing real good," the younger Jerkens, who is in California for this week's Breeders' Cup, said Wednesday morning at Santa Anita. "They replaced two valves in his heart."

As of Wednesday afternoon, Allen Jerkens was still in the cardiothoracic intensive care unit at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park, N.Y. Jerkens was admitted to the hospital last week after complaining of shortness of breath. At the time, Jerkens, 79, said he should have had the procedure a couple of years ago, but kept putting it off.

Jimmy Jerkens said the surgery was more involved than initially thought, but said, "I don't know to what extent or why."

Jerkens said it was unclear how long his father would remain in the hospital, but it is hoped that he could return to the barn at some point in the future.

Allen Jerkens, who has trained horses for 58 years, ranks among the top 12 all-time in wins and purse money won.