05/24/2005 12:00AM

Wilko to undergo surgery


Wilko will undergo arthroscopic surgery on Thursday to remove a chip in his right front ankle, an injury that contributed to his 12th-place finish in the Preakness Stakes.

Trainer Craig Dollase said Wilko came out of the race with filling in his ankle, and X-rays taken Monday at Hollywood Park revealed the chip. The surgery will be performed at Alamo Pintado Equine Medical Center in Los Olivos, Calif.

Dollase said preliminary indications are Wilko can return as a top horse.

"The prognosis is good," he said. "The chip was in a good spot."

Owned by J. Paul Reddam and Susan Roy, Wilko upset Afleet Alex last fall in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Since then, he has had several health problems, including foot trouble and bleeding while finishing sixth in the Kentucky Derby.

Dollase has not lost faith.

"We haven't seen the last of Wilko," he said. "He has the tools to be a good older horse. We'll regroup, and hopefully have a star for next year."

Dollase said the duration of Wilko's recovery depends on the extent of the injury, which will be determined during the arthroscopic procedure.

"I would hope it would be no longer than 90 days," Dollase said.

A son of Awesome Again, Wilko has won 3 races and more than $1 million from 16 starts.