06/18/2009 11:00PM

Joey P. on mend after surgery

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Joey P., the popular New Jersey-bred gelding closing in on $1 million in career earnings, underwent emergency intestinal surgery Thursday evening and is expected to make a full recovery.

The 7-year-old Joey P. was slated to leave Monmouth Park Friday morning to defend his title Saturday in the Charles Town Invitational Dash, but those plans where scrapped when he started showing signs of distress Thursday afternoon.

"We started to monitor him, and he got progressively more uncomfortable," trainer Ben Perkins Jr. said.

The decision was made around 6 p.m. to van to the Mid-Atlantic Equine Medical Center in Ringoes, N.J. where Dr. Patricia Doyle performed surgery to repair a twisted intestine. The procedure took about 90 minutes.

"He's probably going to be fine," Perkins said Friday afternoon. "He recovered from the surgery and he was fine this morning."

No resection was required to untangle the intestine. Once the surgical scar heals, Joey P. can resume training in 60 to 90 days.

Joey P. is 16 for 35 in his career, with 13 wins at Monmouth.