Bodemeister has started treatment and a full recovery is expected in the coming months. The 3-year-old son of Empire Maker would not have been able to return in time for major races at the end of 2012.
“Bodemeister has a peripheral nerve injury which caused atrophy of the infraspinatus muscle in his left shoulder,” said Dr. Larry Bramlage, specialist from Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital. “Obviously, this made us look at something unusual rather than a normal lameness. His legs are perfect, but he was clinical when jogging to the left. After ruling out neck issues with X-rays and a myelogram, we feel confident in the diagnosis. It will take approximately 60 days to heal.”
According to trainer Bob Baffert, the injury likely surfaced a couple of weeks ago at Del Mar when Bodemeister stumbled significantly during routine training. It was enough to throw his exercise rider to the ground. “He was just never quite right after that and we couldn’t figure out what was going on with him,” said Baffert. “It’s extremely unfortunate. We wanted to win the Breeders’ Cup with him.”
Initial plans are for Bodemeister to rehabilitate through mid-October at WinStar before being available for inspection by breeders.
“The positive thing is that we now know what the issue is and it’s treatable. Bodemeister will be back to full health,” said Elliott Walden. “Unfortunately, he would not be able to come back as a racehorse in time to make any of the year-end goals such as the Breeders’ Cup.”
The heralded runner-up in this year’s Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness Stakes (G1), Bodemeister is regarded as one of the fastest 3-year-olds in the country.
“You must always put the horse first, and it is in Bodemeister’s best interest to retire at this time,” said owner Ahmed Zayat. “The sportsman in me is very disappointed because the sky was the limit for his racing career. He is the most brilliant horse that I’ve had the privilege of owning, and my family and I will miss him thrilling us in the afternoons.”
Bodemeister retires with earnings of $1,304,800 for owners Zayat Stables LLC and Mike & Tiffany Moreno.
“Bodemeister gave me and my family the thrill of a lifetime in the classics this year,” Mike Moreno said. “I decided to invest in him prior to the Derby because of his exquisite talent and pedigree, and although this injury kept us from fulfilling all of our dreams on the track, I look forward to supporting him in his next career.”
A stud fee will be announced at a later date.