10/02/2001 11:00PM

Monarchos resumes training

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - Monarchos, winner of the 127th Kentucky Derby in May, has resumed light training on Keeneland's five-furlong training track after having been sidelined for about three months to recover from a tiny knee fracture.

Trainer John Ward Jr. said Monarchos returned to training late last week after having been cleared by veterinarians at nearby Rood & Riddle Equine Clinic.

During his recuperation, Monarchos stayed in Ward's barn at Keeneland and Saratoga, doing little more than walking twice a day. No surgery was involved.

"He handled himself really well during the down time," said Ward. "He's grown up quite a bit."

Ward said Monarchos would not breeze until he ships to Gulfstream Park in south Florida next month. Monarchos will be pointed to Gulfstream's handicap series, which is highlighted by the Donn Handicap.

In his last start, Monarchos finished third to Point Given in the June 9 Belmont Stakes. Soon thereafter, a small fracture was diagnosed in a carpal bone in the colt's knee.