The Minnesota-bred gelding Heliskier is undefeated no more, but he is expected to recover fully after being taken off the track in a van Sunday following a hard stumble out of the gate at Canterbury Park.
Heliskier, a 4-year-old who had won all seven of his races, reared in the gate before the break, then fell to his knees and touched his nose to the track on his first stride. He ran near the back of the nine-horse field until the head of the stretch, when jockey Derek Bell pulled him up.
Track spokesman Jeff Maday said Monday that Heliskier has some bumps and bruises, but track vet Dr. Lynn Hovda reported that the horse was eating and walking fine. She will examine him again later on Monday.
"Her prognosis was excellent, but she also said time will tell,'' Maday said.
The six-furlong allowance race was Heliskier's first against open competition after running previously against state-bred rivals, and the buzz surrounding Canterbury's 2012 Horse of the Year helped draw a crowd of 14,455 to Sunday's races.
Heliskier was an overwhelming favorite and the tumble resulted in huge payouts. The winning horse, Rainier Ice, paid $41.40 on a $2 win bet and the runner-up, Jamaican Memories, paid $25.80 to play, The $1 trifecta paid $3,402.10 and the $1 superfecta -- picking the top four horses in the order of finish -- paid $10,920.50.