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Joe Putnam likely out for months after race spill

April 30, 2008

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Trainer and driver Joe Putnam could find himself on the shelf for the next four months after a racing accident at Hoosier Park. The veteran shattered his right wrist Thursday, April 24 at the Anderson oval when the filly he was driving abruptly fell, launching the driver into the air.
The incident occurred in the evening’s third race, where shortly after the start, Cityline Punch, lining up in post three, went down leaving from the gate. The Pilgrims Punch sophomore unseated Putnam, who landed on his right arm. The filly is owned and trained by Dan Bowermaster.


“She’s a green filly with only a few starts. She had raced well the week before,” Putnam explained. “There was no running or getting tangled up at all. She just dropped. There was no reaction time. It happened so fast. I came down with my right arm underneath me.”


Putnam said he will be completely down for a while, adding that his doctor said he could be sidelined for up to four months. The winner of more than 2,700 career races said he will have to rely on his help, but hopes to be back at the barn soon to keep an eye on the progress of his stable. He will also look to fellow horseman and business partner Trent Stohler to lend a hand.


“The stakes season is starting, so the timing couldn’t be worse,” the trainer added. “We’ll make the best of a bad situation.”


So far, so good for making due while the horseman recovers. ABC Mercedes, a trotter that Putnam trained and drove to an Indiana Sires Stakes championship and division honors as a freshman, made his sophomore debut Sunday evening at Hoosier Park. With Mark O’Mara in the bike, the gelded son of ABC Garland won by nearly two lengths for owner Larry Miller. ABC Mercedes is a full brother to multiple ISS champion ABC Glory.


Putnam has been fortunate to avoid injury throughout most of his career. In 1993 he severely injured his leg after running into a hub rail on the Michigan fair circuit.

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