06/12/2007 11:00PM

Park Avenue Ball has throat surgery


OCEANPORT, N.J. - Park Avenue Ball, the most successful active New Jersey-bred, will miss most of the summer while recuperating from throat surgery.

The procedure was performed June 5 at the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center. The

5-year-old returned to trainer Jim Ryerson's Monmouth Park barn earlier this week.

A breathing problem was detected after Park Avenue Ball ran sixth last time out, in his turf debut in Monmouth's Elkwood Stakes on May. 26.

"The surgery could help him for the races in the fall," Ryerson said.

Park Avenue Ball won a graded stakes in each of his first three racing seasons. He took the Grade 2 Futurity at Belmont Park in 2004 and Monmouth's Grade 3 Long Branch Stakes in 2005. His biggest win last season came in the Grade 3 Iselin Stakes, Monmouth's top dirt event for older horses.

Park Avenue Ball has won seven races and earned $997,600.

The surgery knocks him out of a repeat appearance in the Grade 3 Salvator Mile here on June 23; last year he ran second to Grade 1 winner Flower Alley in that race.

Tarrant up and down on Belmont Day

Amy Tarrant, the owner and trainer of Hardacre Farm, thoroughly enjoyed watching history unfold last Saturday in the Belmont Stakes.

"I had money on that filly [Rags to Riches] because I really wanted her to win and I thought she was very capable of doing it," Tarrant said. "It was a fabulous race."

The day would have been more rewarding if Tarrant's Kiss the Kid had run better one race earlier at Belmont in the Manhattan Handicap.

Making his first start since early March while facing seasoned Grade 1 company for the first time, Kiss the Kid raced right with the leaders through the first mile before fading to seventh.

"He had a pretty nice race considering he hadn't run in about three months and he took on those monsters," Tarrant said. "I was pretty happy.

He came out of it great. Now I'm laughingly saying that was his prep for a Grade 3."

The 4-year-old colt ran for the first time without blinkers in the Manhattan, a suggestion made by jockey Cornelio Velasquez.

"He was much more ratable," Tarrant said. "He had ridden him at Gulfstream, and we went with his suggestion. He felt the horse was easier to handle."

Tarrant is not eager to tackle the top-level turfers again in Monmouth's Grade 1 United Nations Stakes on July 7.

"I'd like the next one not to be a mile-and-three-eighths, if I can find something. I won't rule out the race, but I'd like to look around a little bit."

Kiss the Kid is 3 for 11 and has not hit the board in six stakes races.

Extra Bend in tough in return

Extra Bend returns in a demanding spot Friday in the $45,000 optional claiming feature on the turf.

The 4-year-old gelding makes his first start since suffering bone chips in his left knee last August in the Jersey Derby on the Haskell Day undercard.

"You've got to start somewhere," said trainer Scott Volk.

Extra Bend faces seven rivals in the one-mile race for third-level runners and claimers carrying a $50,000 tag.

The field also includes Foreverness, winner of the Grade 3 Fort Marcy Handicap at Aqueduct last year; Presious Passion, the winner of Jersey Derby in which Extra Bend suffered the injury; and Ide Rejoice, who was claimed last time out by Richard Dutrow Jr.

* Apprentice jockey Kyle Branch is sidelined with a broken wrist suffered when he was dumped following the last race at Monmouth on Saturday.