Leading Horse-of-the-Year candidate Mystic Guide (Ghostzapper) is scheduled to have surgery to remove a chip in his knee, his owner, Godolphin LLC, announced Saturday morning. The surgery will be performed by Dr. Larry Bramlage at the Rood and Riddle Clinic. According to the Godolphin statement, Bramlage expects that the surgery will be straightforward and uncomplicated.
It remains unclear whether or not the 4-year-old 'TDN Rising Star' will race again or head off to stud. Addressing that question, Godolphin President Jimmy Bell said: “Mystic Guide is in great hands with Dr. Bramlage, so it now becomes a question of doing what's right for the horse. It's too early at this time to make a decision to either continue racing or retire him, but we will give him some time to recuperate and we will then make that determination”.
After winning the G1 Dubai World Cup, Mystic Guide returned in the GII Suburban S. at Belmont, where he finished second, beaten a neck. Though he did not run poorly, he didn't appear to be the same horse who overpowered his competition in Dubai. Concerned that his horse hadn't run better, trainer Mike Stidham ordered some precautionary tests.
“Expectations for the Suburban were high, so with his runner-up finish, we felt that we should take some precautionary X-rays,” Stidham said. “We then followed those up with a PET scan which revealed the chip. It's certainly unfortunate, but I am glad that we know the extent of the injury and can move forward from here.”
Prior to the Suburban, Mystic Guide appeared to be putting together a championship season. In his first start of the year and his first start since finishing second in the GI Jockey Club Gold Cup, Mystic Guide was an easy winner of the GIII Razorback H., a prep for his successful run in Dubai. Had he stayed healthy, it appeared that a return trip to the Jockey Club Gold Cup was next on his schedule.
If Mystic Guide does not make it back for the GI Breeders' Cup Classic, Godolphin figures to still come into that race with a strong hand. It is also the owner of top male dirt horses Maxfield (Street Sense) and fellow 'Rising Star' Essential Quality (Tapit).