03/04/2010 12:00AM

Summer Bird starts to crank up


Summer Bird, the champion 3-year-old of 2009, has resumed training and jogged Wednesday and Thursday at Oaklawn Park, said his co-owner, K.K. Jayaraman. Summer Bird has been rehabbing from a nondisplaced condylar fracture to his right foreleg, and recently received medical clearance to return to the track, according to Jayaraman.

"He's just jogging, and he'll jog the rest of the week," Jayaraman said Thursday.

Tim Ice trained Summer Bird last year, when the horse won the Belmont Stakes, Travers and Jockey Club Gold Cup. In early February, the horse was transferred to Tim Ritchey. Ritchey, who trained champion Afleet Alex, is based at Oaklawn.

Summer Bird was prepping for a start in the Japan Cup Dirt at Hanshin Racecourse when he sustained the fracture on Nov. 29. He returned to North America and underwent surgery at Hollywood Park on Dec. 4. A screw was placed in the injury site to help promote healing. When stable, Summer Bird was shipped to Ice's division at Oaklawn.

The horse last raced on Nov. 7, finishing fourth to Zenyatta in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita. He is expected to race later this year in New York. Summer Bird, a son of Birdstone, has won 4 of 9 starts and $2.3 million.