Monday, July 30, 2012

Queen’s Plate champion Strait of Dover out of Breeders’ Stakes

TORONTO, July 30 - Queen's Plate champion, Strait of Dover, who would have been the likely favourite for Sunday's Breeders' Stakes, third and turf jewel of Canada's Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing, has suffered a leg injury and is out for the season.

"He has a small tear in the suspensory (ligament)," said trainer Dan Vella, who trains the son of English Channel for Wally and Terry Leong’s British Columbia-based Canyon Farms. "We discovered it a couple of days ago. The long-term prognosis is very good, but he's out for the year."

The main purpose of the suspensory ligament in horses is to support the fetlock joint preventing it from overextending.

Vella skipped the Prince of Wales, the middle gem in the three-race series over Fort Erie's traditional dirt track, in preparation for the 1 ½-mile Breeders' at Woodbine. Strait of Dover had shown poor form on dirt while competing in B.C.

Vella felt the dark bay was prepping forwardly for the 121st edition of the historic grass race. "His work on the turf was awesome and I expected him to run very well."

Since arriving at Woodbine, Strait of Dover had never had a horse finish in front of him (he was disqualified for interference and placed third in one race) in five Polytrack starts, including the Plate, first jewel of the Triple Crown.

Vella said Strait of Dover will remain in his care at Woodbine for the next month.

Strait of Dover has four wins in seven career starts for lifetime earnings of $765,449.

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