BALTIMORE – Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Moss’ Royal Mo was transported to the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine’s New Bolton Center Sunday morning after sustaining a fracture of the inside right front sesamoid bone at Pimlico Race Course.
A candidate for next Saturday’s 142nd Preakness Stakes (G1), Royal Mo was pulled up at the top of the stretch by jockey Gary Stevens during a scheduled five-furlong workout. His stricken leg equipped with a boot, Uncle Mo was vanned back to the Preakness Stakes Barn, where X-rays revealed the injury.
“There isn’t any other damage, so that’s a very good thing for him,” trainer John Shirreffs said following the departure of the van taking the 3-year-old son of Uncle Mo to the internationally renowned New Bolton Center in Kennett Square, Pa. for further evaluation and treatment.
Stevens, who had taken a red-eye flight from Southern California Sunday morning to ride Royal Mo in his scheduled final serious preparation for the Preakness, said he heard a ‘pop’ turning into the stretch while racing outside a workmate.
“He was going better than he was [in his workout] before the Santa Anita Derby. I was getting goosebumps down my neck. As we were rounding into the stretch, I was thinking how much I was going to let him gallop out,” Stevens said. “Thankfully, when he went, I had a hold of him. He looked out for me and I looked out for him. He pulled himself up.
“He was loving the racetrack. He was getting over it nice. I wanted to make sure that everyone knew that the track was perfect,” Stevens added. “It’s just one of those deals.”
Royal Mo, who captured the Robert Lewis (G3) and finished third in the Santa Anita Derby (G1), had topped the also-eligible for the Kentucky Derby (G1) at Churchill Downs May 6. When Royal Mo failed to draw into the 20-horse field, Shirreffs immediately targeted the Pimlico’s Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown.
“It’s very difficult. Our hopes and dreams were with Royal Mo. Mr. and Mrs. Moss and my wife, Dottie, were excited to see him run. We’re all obviously devastated,” Shirreffs said.