Greg's Gold is back on track this winter. And after setting a new track record at California's Hollywood Park on the new Cushion Track synthetic surface, handicappers' eyes will be on him when he goes after the San Carlos Handicap at nearby Santa Anita on February 16.
Some scientific and veterinary eyes will be on Greg's Gold too. The horse is running beautifully and setting track records with three normal legs. The fourth sports a near-bionic superficial flexor tendon that was repaired using stem cells harvested from a pouch of fat near the colt's tail head according to the Vet-Stem procedure..
Greg's Gold's story is told in today's edition of The Scientist, posted online. The Vet-Stem procedure is being used on all types of sport horses, but the demands of racing at the stakes level are a punishing test for a mended tendon. The steeplechaser champion Hirapour also was treated with stem cells.
But the scientific community is not too fast to jump on the stem cell repair wagon. The article in The Scientist interviews Drs. Larry Bramlage at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Kentucky, and Lisa Fortier at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine in New York.
Should he stay sound and continue to race successfully at the top tier of US racing, Greg's Gold will not only be one for the record books?he'll be one for the textbooks, too.