Cavonnier Rallies To Win
December 26, 1998 Cavonnier, a footnote in Kentucky Derby lore,
earned a whole chapter in horse racing’s veterinary history
when he rallied to win at Santa Anita in Arcadia in his first race
in 2 years. The one-length victory in the $81,225 Ack Ack Stakes
culminated an on-again, off-again comeback for the gelding, who
was pulled up with a right-front-tendon injury in the Belmont Stakes
on June 8, 1996. It was an emotional return to the Santa Anita winner’s
circle for the team of jockey Chris McCarron, trainer Bob Babbert
and breeder-owners Robert and Barbara Walter, for whom Cavonnier
won the ’96 Santa Anita Derby. Cavonnier finished fourth in
the Preakness before getting hurt in the Belmont. The injury was
expected to end his career. However, the Walters, who live with
their horses on a ranch near Santa Rosa, spent money and patience
on an experimental treatment for Cavonnier’s bowed tendon.
A drug with the abbreviated name BAPN-F, injected by UC Davis veterinarian
Carol Gillis, allowed the tendon to heal with its elasticity intact.
This horse was on an Aquatred program at the owner’s ranch
at Sebastapoul, California.
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