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Bigtime Ball Back For The Fall

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Published: September 12, 2011 5:21 pm ET

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Platelet-rich plasma and stem cell therapy are becoming more and more prevalent in helping athletes both in and out of harness racing recover from injuries. Will it help Bigtime Ball recover enough to compete with and tackle the aged pacing division?

On today's Trot Radio, trainer and owner Gord Irwin discusses the comeback of O'Brien Award winning pacer Bigtime Ball, who is back is a big way after back to back qualifying efforts at Mohawk Racetrack - the most recent of which was a scintillating 1:50.3 score. After that mile, driver Paul MacDonell and Irwin agreed that the son of Presidential Ball is ready to go and will head to the gate this Saturday against open competition for the first time in more than a year.

"It was a slight tear off the sesamoid, so it wasn't broke," noted Irwin. "From there I took him to a clinic in Ocala, and we didn't do surgery per se, we just did a PRP procedure and a stem cell procedure. The first month [after] was just stall rest and walking by hand.

"The prognosis was good [for recovery] as long as I took the time; they emphasized to me that time was the healer. So from that, I went beyond what they recommended."

After his Friday qualifier, Irwin noted that Bigtime Ball was as good as could be expected.

"The horse is excellent, he hasn't missed any of his hay or grain and he's sharp. I couldn't ask him to be better."

Irwin was quick to credit and reinforce just how much respect he has for the pacer's pilot, an O'Brien Award winner himself.

"I am so fortunate to be in retirement and be involved with a gentlemen like [Paul MacDonell]," gushed Irwin. "I've never been so comfortable in my life in this business."

To listen to the full interview with Borg and Irwin, who also reflected on Invitro's induction into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame, click the play button below.

Episode 223 – Gord Irwin
Audio Format: MP3 audio
Host: Norm Borg

Please note that the opinions expressed in the featured interview are those of the participants and do not necessarily reflect Rideau Carleton Raceway and/or Standardbred Canada.


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