07/25/2013 10:01AM

St. Nicholas Abbey exits surgery, remains in intensive care


Coolmore’s champion St Nicholas Abbey, who underwent surgery Wednesday to repair a fractured pastern, is “well and comfortable” but remains in intensive care, according to a Thursday morning update that Coolmore released via Twitter.

The 6-year-old Montjeu horse fractured a pastern Tuesday morning during training with Aidan O’Brien at Ballydoyle in Ireland.

“After a lengthy surgery to fuse the pastern, St Nicholas Abbey is recuperating in intensive care at John Halley’s Fethard Equine Hospital,” Coolmore tweeted Thursday morning.

The surgery took place Wednesday at the clinic, which is near Coolmore’s headquarters in Fethard, Co. Tipperary, in consultation with Dr. Dean Richardson of the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center veterinary clinic. Richardson is the New Bolton Center’s head of surgery and led the effort to save 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro after he fractured his right hind leg during the Preakness Stakes. That colt ultimately was euthanized in January 2007 due to laminitis.

“St Nicholas Abbey will remain in intensive care for some time and has many bridges to cross before he is considered out of danger,” Coolmore tweeted. “This morning he is well and comfortable and back enjoying his hay! We are lucky he is so fit and has a marvelous attitude and temperament, which will be vital for his long recovery.”

St Nicholas Abbey had been the favorite for Saturday’s King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. During his career, he won six Grade 1 or Group 1 races, among them the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Turf and three editions of the Coronation Cup in England.