06/15/2017 2:10PM

Joking back in training

Barbara D. Livingston
Vosburgh Stakes winner Joking got sick after arriving in California last year for the Breeders' Cup Sprint.

ELMONT, N.Y. – Joking, the Grade 1 Vosburgh winner who got sick after arriving in Southern California last fall for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint, has returned to training at Belmont Park and is being pointed for a late-summer/fall campaign, said Charlton Baker, the horse’s owner and trainer.

Joking started jogging about two weeks ago and will begin galloping in a week or so. Baker said Joking could return to the work tab by the end of June.

“He came in a little fat but looking great,” Baker said. “Keep our fingers crossed he could come back to where he was, or even a notch below is fine with me.”

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When last seen on the track, Joking won the Vosburgh at Belmont Park last fall. That win earned Joking a fees-paid berth in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Santa Anita. After shipping west, Joking came down with a temperature. He eventually developed pneumonia, and his condition was touch-and-go for a little while. He spent most of his recovery time at a farm in Southern California before shipping to the equine surgeon Patty Hogan’s New Jersey farm a few months ago.

“I told the vet in California, ‘If any horse can [return], he can do it,” Baker said. “He’s just got a huge heart – he fights through everything.”