Travel Playlist, who entered 2016 with expectations of competing among the upper echelon of the three-year-old colt pacer ranks, has suffered a broken coffin bone and will not race the rest of the year.
Trainer Erv Miller told The Horseman Thursday morning that Travel Playlist incurred the injury late last week, shortly after returning to his stable from the Cornell Ruffian Equine Specialists veterinary clinic at Belmont Park where he had been sent following a ninth-place finish in his seasonal debut on June 12 at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Prior to that, Travel Playlist prepped for his season with three consecutive wins in qualifiers, including a 1:52 effort at the Meadowlands.
"They checked him out at Belmont and he came out OK, and we brought him back and trained him twice," said Miller. "The second time we trained him he trained super, but when I pulled him up I felt something wasn't right. He was getting sorer as the day went, so I sent him to Dr. Patty Hogan to x-ray him. That's where we found a hairline fracture in the left front coffin bone."
With a seasonal-best 1:49.2 victory in a New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) race at Vernon Downs, Travel Playlist earned the distinction as the fastest two-year-old pacer of 2015. With all five of his freshman victories coming in NYSS events, Travel Playlist finished the year with earnings of $252,570 for owners Blue Chip Bloodstock, Ron Michelon, Fred Hertrich III and Taylor Made Stallions. Taylor Made, which is well known in Thoroughbred racing, purchased an interest in Travel Playlist on the eve of the pacer's victory in last year's $225,000 NYSS final on Sept. 26 at Yonkers.
While Miller has definitely ruled out any more racing this year for Travel Playlist, he is hoping the son of Art Major can return to the racetrack as a four-year-old in 2017.
"He was just phenomenal last year and it's a real letdown that this has happened because he's shown so much ability," said Miller. "He's such a promising horse that I hate to see the way this has gone. Blue Chip became involved with the horse in anticipation he'd have a good three-year-old year and probably then stand him as a sire. Now we'll just have to see how it goes."
(with files from harnessracing.com)