05/25/2005 11:00PM

Medallist hurt, skips Met Mile


ELMONT, N.Y. - The multiple stakes winner Medallist suffered a cracked sesamoid bone in his left foreleg and will miss Monday's $750,000 Metropolitan Handicap, according to trainer Allen Jerkens. His racing future could also be in jeopardy.

Jerkens said he noticed Medallist was off in his left fore following a routine gallop earlier this week. Jerkens said the injury is non-displaced, and surgery will not be needed, but that Medallist would be unlikely to return to the races until next year. It would then be up to his owner, Robert Clay of Three Chimneys Farm, to decide whether to return him to racing or start his second career as a stallion.

"I've had a lot of horses come back," Jerkens said. "It just depends how everybody feels about it."

Dan Rosenberg, the president of Three Chimneys, said no decision has been made on Medallist's future.

"We're still gathering information and looking at options," Rosenberg said. "We'll look at the X-rays and talk to Allen and discuss the options, the pros and cons."

Medallist, a son of Touch Gold, has won 5 of 12 starts and banked $421,375. He has won three stakes, the Grade 3 Withers and Grade 2 Dwyer last year at 3, and the Grade 3 Deputy Minister Handicap this year. He was coming off a second-place finish behind Forest Danger in the Grade 1 Carter last month at Aqueduct. Medallist is the only horse to defeat Forest Danger, the probable second choice in the Met Mile.

Medallist looked like the main speed horse in the Met Mile. Bobby Frankel, the trainer of probable Met favorite Ghostzapper, said he feared Medallist the most because of his potential to steal the race on the front end.

Medallist's defection reduces the Met Mile field to six. Ghostzapper, the reigning Horse of the Year, will take on Forest Danger, Love of Money, Sir Shackleton, Pomeroy, and Silver Wagon.

Artie Schiller pointed to Manhattan

Artie Schiller, beaten a nose by Cool Conductor in the Dixie Handicap on Preakness Day, will be pointed to the Grade 1 Manhattan Handicap here on Belmont Stakes Day, trainer Jimmy Jerkens said.

While disappointed by the Dixie result, Jerkens took some solace in the fact that Artie Schiller relaxed behind a moderate pace, something he believes could bode well for going farther. The Manhattan is run at 1 1/4 miles.

"It might be a good setup to go a mile and a quarter," Jerkens said. "Maybe he'll rate kindly even though it's going to be a slower pace going a mile and a quarter. In the Maker's Mark he was up on the engine the whole way. [The Dixie] might be the kind of race he needed to go a mile and a quarter."

Artie Schiller won the Maker's Mark Mile and is generally considered best between a mile and nine furlongs. However, Artie Schiller finished a good second behind Kitten's Joy in last year's Virginia Derby, his only start at 10 furlongs.

Though Artie Schiller bobbled twice in the stretch of the Dixie, Jerkens said the horse came out of the race in good shape.

Snake Mountain retired

Jimmy Jerkens said that Snake Mountain, a multiple-stakes-winning gelding, has been retired. In a five-month span from October 2002 to March 2003, Snake Mountain won the Stuyvesant, Queens County, Aqueduct, and Stymie handicaps.

He won only 2 of his last 11 starts however, and was plagued by foot problems and breathing problems. Most recently, he underwent two throat operations.

"It looked like he wasn't going to come back to his best form and nobody wanted to run him cheap," Jerkens said.

Jerkens said a daughter of one of the owners will try to make a show horse out of Snake Mountain. Snake Mountain won 11 of 27 starts and earned $530,695.

Strained muscle sidelines Survivalist

Survivalist, winner of the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes, did not enter Saturday's Peter Pan Stakes due a strained hind-end muscle. Trainer Shug McGaughey said the injury is not a big deal and he will point Survivalist to the Riva Ridge Stakes on Belmont Stakes Day.

"I'll internal blister it, jog him for a few days, and point for the Riva Ridge," McGaughey said.

McGaughey said Smuggler, a recent allowance winner here, would be pointed to next Saturday's Grade 1 Acorn.

* After 17 days of racing at this meet, trainer Scott Lake was 0 for 21. After 17 days of the 2004 Belmont spring meet, Lake was the second-leading trainer with eight wins.