07/02/2014 10:51AM

Went the Day Well returns after vocal cord issue

Barbara D. Livingston
Went the Day Well will be making his first start since March 2013 on Wednesday at Delaware Park.

Wednesday’s eighth race at Delaware Park marks a new beginning for Grade 3 winner Went the Day Well, who will be making his first start since March 2013 and second start since the 2012 Preakness Stakes.

Went the Day Well, a New York-bred, started his career in Great Britain before being brought back to the United States by Team Valor International. He won his maiden at Gulfstream Park in his second U.S. start, won the Grade 3 Spiral Stakes at Turfway in his next outing, and finished fourth, beaten 2 1/2 lengths, by I’ll Have another in the Kentucky Derby.

Went the Day Well went to the sidelines following a 10th-place finish in the Preakness. His only start since came in a New York-bred optional claimer at Aqueduct in March 2013, in which he beat one horse.

“He had a paralyzed vocal cord,” Team Valor founder Barry Irwin said Wednesday. “In his race at Aqueduct, he began to make such a racket during the race our rider said all of the other jockeys were looking at him wondering what was going on.

“We did a tie-back on it and gave him plenty of time.”

Horses with a paralyzed vocal cord can have difficulty breathing and sometimes “roar” or rasp when exercising . This can be caused by a piece of cartilage flapping in the horse’s airway. Laryngoplasty , or tie-back surgery, literally ties back the offending cartilage and can help the horse get a normal amount of air.

“Sometimes you can have a horse in perfect health and they can get a virus and end up with a paralyzed vocal cord,” Irwin said. “Most of the horses we race, we buy, so we have them inspected and don’t see much of this. But if you are a breeder, racing homebreds, there is a greater incidence of this happening.”

Irwin said Went the Day Well is training better now than when he was young.

“During the entire time we have had this horse, first with Graham Motion and now with Richard Mettee, he was one of the least impressive work horses we had,” Irwin said. “He was lazy. The worst horse in the barn could outwork him.

“We sent him down to trainer Bill Recio at the Classic Mile, and he’s worked with him. The last three or four times I’ve watched him, he has been vastly improved.”

Because Went the Day Well has been away so long, Wednesday’s race – a second-level optional claimer – will not be an easy assignment for the 5-year-old.

“As for today, I’ll be surprised if he wins because I think he will be rusty,” Irwin said. “But as we keep going with him, I think he’ll come back to his old self.”