Summer Bird suffered an injury during his sojourn to the Far East, where he was going to race in the Japan Cup Dirt at Hanshin Race Course. The injury was to his right foreleg and a screw was inserted into the affected area to help with the healing process. Apparently, everything is on schedule for the Champion Three-Year-Old to return to the races at some point in the near future because he has been spotted on the track at Oaklawn Park, working and jogging to get ready for that comeback.
Of course, during the time he convalesced Summer Bird was transferred out of the barn of trainer Tim Ice, who guided him to wins in the Belmont Stakes, Travers Stakes, and Jockey Club Gold Cup, by his owners. At the time, I felt this was a horrible decision by the owners to take the horse away from the man who crafted his successful, award-winning campaign. Hopefully, we will soon see whether the owners knew what they were doing by moving the horse into the barn of Tim Ritchey, who had his own successful three-year-old a few years ago in Afleet Alex.
Regardless of the actions of the connections that surround the horse, Summer Bird is a horse that we all ought to be pulling for to make a resounding return to the races. He accomplished something last year that hadn't been done in 21 years and if he can return to the races better than ever, it can only be a boon for the world of racing.
Tune in tomorrow for more from They Are Off. For right now, I am Gone... GOODBYE!