Change Up, one of the top 3-year-old fillies wintering in New Orleans, has been sidelined with a bone chip in her right knee. The injury was detected last Friday, the day after Change Up had a five-furlong breeze, and Change Up already has undergone surgery in Kentucky to the remove the chip, co-owner Richard Klein said Tuesday.
"She breezed really good, galloped out strong, came back and everything was fine. But the next day when they went to get her out of her stall, she had a little filling in her right knee," said Klein. "There was a little flake in there. It was minimal, but it will set her back."
Klein said Change Up would get 90 days off at Forest Lane Farm in Kentucky before returning to light training with an eye toward a comeback in late summer.
Trained by Steve Flint, Change Up won 3 of 6 starts, with a pair of seconds and a disastrous seventh in the Arlington-Washington Lassie, at age 2. Her major breakthrough was a two-length win the Grade 3 Pocahontas Stakes on Oct. 29 at Churchill, and she concluded her campaign with a second-place finish in the Golden Rod Stakes, her first try around two turns.
In Get Ready Bertie, the Klein family and Flint have another promising 3-year-old filly at Fair Grounds, and Klein said it was quite possible Get Ready Bertie, who won the Tiffany Lass Stakes in her most recent race, could skip the Feb. 10 Silverbulletday Stakes and be pointed toward the Fair Grounds Oaks.
"That's something that my father [Bertram] and Steve are going to discuss a little bit more," Klein said. "She shows that she wants to run all day, and I think our goal is to have a fresh horse for the [Kentucky] Oaks."
Zanjero moves up on depth chart
Now that Tiz Wonderful has been sidelined by a tendon injury, Zanjero has become Steve Asmussen's best prospect for the Louisiana Derby, and Zanjero took a step toward the Feb. 10 Risen Star Stakes by breezing five furlongs on a sloppy Fair Grounds track Tuesday morning. Zanjero, who worked in company, officially was timed in 1:02.60, the second-fastest of 15 works at the distance.
"So far, so good. We would have to have other bad luck not to make the Risen Star," Asmussen said.
Zanjero raced five times at age 2, but didn't hit his stride until he was stretched out to two turns, winning a maiden race at Keeneland and an entry-level allowance race at Churchill before finishing second to Nobiz Like Shobiz in the Nov. 25 Remsen at Aqueduct.
"He's a nice horse, and his races have shown he wants to go longer," Asmussen said. "We're thinking [Kentucky] Derby."
Brilliant on comeback trail
Brilliant, who at times during his 3-year-old year did look brilliant, is gearing up for a 2007 campaign, and had his second work toward a comeback race - a three-furlong breeze - on Tuesday at Fair Grounds.
A turf horsed trained by Neil Howard, Brilliant has been out of action since suffering a surprising and decisive loss as the heavy favorite in the Oct. 14 Hawthorne Derby. Five weeks earlier, Brilliant had scored a 6 1/2-length victory in the Grade 3 Kent Breeders' Cup, and in the spring he won the Grade 3 Jefferson Cup at Churchill.
"He's doing good," Howard said. "I don't think he lost a whole lot while he was off. He's ready to go a half, he'll [work] back quick, but I don't know when he's going to start yet."
Howard said he had hoped to start Brilliant in the Fair Grounds Breeders' Cup on Feb. 10 as a prep for the Mervin Muniz Handicap, but isn't sure if Brilliant will be ready for that race.
"I might be a couple weeks behind where I wanted to be, but I didn't want to do too much too soon with him," he said.
Howard said he's also considering Patriot Act, whose two starts this meet have been compromised by a false pace, for the Mineshaft Handicap, also on Feb. 10.
Sutra 'a month away' after illness
Sutra, who upset the Grade 1 Frizette Stakes last fall at Belmont and then had a ninth-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, had her return to racing delayed by an illness, but has logged two breezes and "is probably a month away" from a comeback start, trainer Mike Stidham said. Stidham said he would prefer to find an allowance race for Sutra rather than bring her back in a stakes.
Stidham also said Sandburr, who won the Louisiana Breeders' Cup Handicap in his most recent start, had been forced out of Saturday night's Maxxam Gold Cup at Sam Houston because of a foot bruise, but still could make the Mineshaft.
* There's no high-end allowance race on Thursday at Fair Grounds, but the card still is decent, with several maiden and allowance races.
* Seven were entered Monday for Saturday's Black Gold Handicap for 3-year-olds at 5 1/2 furlongs on turf. The likely favorite is Probation Ready, who finished a troubled second in the Sugar Bowl Stakes last out.