08/03/2012 3:31PM

Saratoga: Successful Dan to undergo stem-cell therapy

Barbara D. Livingston
Successful Dan's connections are hoping to bring the horse back from injury next year.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – The connections of Successful Dan will attempt to bring the multiple graded stakes winner back from a third significant injury after the 6-year-old gelding was found with a strained distal sesamoidean ligament in his left foreleg.

Successful Dan will undergo stem-cell therapy in a couple of weeks and then be turned out for at least two months before undergoing three to four months of active rehabilitation, according to Dr. Larry Bramlage of the Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky.

“If everything went perfectly, we’d like to have him going by mid-year, next year,” Bramlage said.

Trainer Charles Lopresti said owner Morton Fink would like to try and bring Successful Dan back to the races next year. Successful Dan has won 7 of 11 starts, including the Grade 2 Alysheba at Churchill Downs in which he set a track record for 1 1/16 miles. Most recently, he finished second to Fort Larned in the Grade 3 Cornhusker at Prairie Meadows. He had been training toward a start in Saturday’s Grade 1 Whitney at Saratoga before Lopresti noticed inflammation in the left foreleg last week.

“Mr. Fink says absolutely,” Lopresti said about a comeback. “He’s a gelding, he loves the racetrack, he loves to run, and when he’s good, he’s really good.”

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Successful Dan has been sidelined for long periods of time twice in his career, including once in 2009 for an injury similar to this. He returned in August 2010 and made five starts – including being disqualified from first place in the Grade 1 Clark Handicap – before suffering a sesamoidean ligament injury.

Bramlage said the previous injury to Successful Dan was in the ligament above the sesamoid, whereas this one is below.

“Both injuries are to the suspensory apparatus that supports the fetlock,” Bramlage said. “He had a couple of episodes before two years ago where we used stem cells on him. It seems to have helped, because the suspensory ligament has gotten better and better and better.”