San Pail, harness racing's reigning Horse of the Year in both Canada and the U.S., will not race again in 2012, according to Standardbred Canada.
After qualifying on Aug. 24 in 1:57.3, trainer and co-owner Rod Hughes stated that he'd have to see how the the 8-year-old son of San Pellegrino rebounded from a right-hind ankle injury that sidelined him for the summer. Hughes said that the area still had some inflammation.
"We just got home from Rood & Riddle (Equine Hospital) yesterday," said Hughes on Thursday morning. "They treated the area with stem cell therapy and gave him a good prognosis."
A career winner of 51 races with more than $3 million in earnings, San Pail is owned by Hughes and his wife Emily along with breeder Glenn Van Camp.
"He had trained much more than he went in that (Aug. 24) qualifier so we were optimistic but you have to be 110 percent to go with these trotters," stated Hughes. "I was really looking forward to racing again at Vernon, the Allerage and the Breeders Crown but we've had a great five years. He's shown up and raced his heart out every race."
The short-term plan for San Pail is to receive hand walking for a month and then head back to Rood & Riddle for another dose of stem cells. Plans beyond that could change but will likely involve more hand walking before being turned out at the Hughes farm in Dunsford, Ont. for the winter. (SC)