Royal Mo Suffers Fracture During Workout

Royal Mo, one of the contenders for Saturday’s Preakness Stakes, suffered a career-ending sesamoid fracture to his right front ankle during his final work at Pimlico Race Course Sunday.

Trainer John Shirreffs said Royal Mo was transported to New Bolton Center in Pennsylvania, the facility best known for treating 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro after he fractured a hind leg in the 2006 Preakness.

“The one positive side is there wasn’t any other damage to that leg, he doesn’t have a condylar or any other ligaments that were injured, just the right sesamoid,” said Shirreffs.

Shirreffs said the injury is still “devastating”, and the Maryland Veterinary Group’s Dr. Dan Dreyfuss, who attended to Royal Mo at Pimlico, added Royal Mo “is done as a racehorse. If there are no complications, from a life standpoint he should be okay”.

Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens had flown in to Baltimore for Royal Mo’s workout, and said he was “relishing the track” as he raced five furlongs in company. But near the quarter pole on sloppy, off track, Stevens heard a loud “pop”. Stevens immediately hopped off Royal Mo and helped support the injured leg until first Shirreffs and then Dreyfuss arrived.

“Gary Stevens was holding up the leg and Mr. Shirreffs was there helping as well. The leg did not spend much time on the ground after they got him pulled up, which is really important,” Dreyfuss said.

Royal Mo had ankle wraps on his ankles and that those bandages helped prevent further damage. Dreyfuss tranquilized Royal Mo and then affixed a Kimzey splint to the injured limb to provide support.

Royal Mo is a big, beautiful son of Uncle Mo, who sired 2016 Kentucky Derby champion Nyquist. Royal Mo won two races in six starts including the Grade III Robert B. Lewis. He was on the also eligible-list for the Kentucky Derby, but did not draw into the race. Royal Mo’s final race was a 3rd place finish in the Santa Anita Derby.

The injury to Royal Mo means there are 10 horses committed to racing in the Preakness, and entries are due Wednesday morning with post-position draw Wednesday night.

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