China Pearls Sidelined

Published: September 10, 2012 09:43 am EDT

Trot Insider has learned that O’Brien Award winner China Pearls has been sidelined for the remainder of the year due to an injury.

Trainer and co-owner Carman Hie told Trot Insider that the four-year-old trotting mare has developed a crack in her left hind pastern and will not be returning to the track to compete in the remainder of her scheduled stakes this year, including the Breeders Crown.

China Pearls last raced in the opening leg of the Ima Lula Series at Meadowlands Racetrack on July 19 winning by more than four lengths in a career-best time of 1:53.3, but was scratched from the following leg and final when she appeared to be a little off. Her veterinarians were finally able to pinpoint the issue following last Wednesday’s x-rays.

“She wasn’t quite 100 per cent [after the Ima Lula leg] and I wouldn’t take a chance on something happening so I chose to shut her down until we saw what was going to develop out of this,” said Hie. “It was about two weeks after that that we found a little spot in her pastern, which turned out a month after that to be a crack.”

Hie said that China Pearls is expected to make a full recovery and should be returning next April.

“I’m going to sit on her until the first of November and I’ll take her back for x-rays then,” said the veteran conditioner, noting that the crack is about a quarter of an inch long and will not require screws to mend. “If you’re going to have an injury in a horse, this is the one to have because they do heal up and never bother them again, so I am lucky that way.”

China Pearls, an Ontario Sires Stakes graduate who earned over half a million dollars in her debut season at three, picked up cheques in the first seven starts of her aged career to earn another $113,200 in purses for Hie and longtime partners Stewart Cockshutt, Blake Anthony, J. Peter Kloepfer and Ted Murrell. Among her wins this year were a pair of dead-heats in a Preferred event at Mohawk Racetrack and an Armbro Flight elimination.

She also hit the board in the final as well as the Masters Stakes and a leg of the Miss Versatility.

“It sure started off to be a good year, but anyway these things happen and you just have to take care of them,” said Hie.

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