San Pail, a three-time winner of the Maple Leaf Trot and Canada's Horse of the Year in 2011, hasn't posted a pari-mutuel start since last April, but is travelling smoothly along the road to recovery.
Trained by Rod Hughes for Hughes Stable Inc. and breeder Glenn Van Camp, San Pail, a winner of over $3 million, is recovering from a suspensory injury to his left hind ankle.
"'Pail' suffered a very small tear in his suspensory branch which caused the injury and so far, touch wood, everything appears to be one-hundred percent,” Hughes said. "He's up to five miles a day jogging and we hit a nice day one day last week, so I turned him and went a mile around (2):40. I didn't carry a watch with me, but he did that very comfortable and came out of it well.”
Hughes admits that when San Pail returns to the race track is up to the 9-year-old gelding.
"He'll let me know when he's ready and there is no timetable for his return," said Hughes. "I'd like to be ready for the Maple Leaf Trot, but if were not, were not. We'll surface when he says were ready to go. It could be earlier and it could be later. It's all up to ‘Pail,' not me.”
Hughes has a pair of expectations leading up to the coming months.
"Number one is to get him back to the races, healthy and sound, and prove that we can come back and race," said Hughes. "Number two is to make it to the Maple Leaf Trot, whether we win it or not, but to make it there. The rest is gravy.”
In 2012 San Pail raced just four times with a 2-2-0 record and $98,750 in seasonal earnings.
The son of San Pellegrino has posted 51 career victories from 111 starts for regular pilot Randy Waples. (WEG)