Injury sidelines Joey Ice from Derby Lane

Published Oct. 18, 2014

ST. PETERSBURG —Joey Ice never ran quicker. His storybook season would end just as fast.

The Capabal kennel greyhound, one of the nation's leaders in wins, will be sidelined until at least January with an injury suffered Monday at Derby Lane.

Kennel owner Henry Parker said Joey Ice sustained a hairline fracture to his left rear hock. The injury occurred shortly after he entered the backstretch in Race 6.

"He'll be off six to eight weeks," Parker said. "It's more of a stress fracture. … It could have been worse. Our plans are to come back and race at Derby Lane the first of (next) year. The leg will be stronger than ever."

Dr. Jerry Gregory of Tampa performed surgery on Joey Ice on Friday, Parker's 59th birthday. Parker said the procedure involved one screw being inserted to tighten the bone and allow for better healing.

Parker said the injury was "unusual." Generally, the right hock is more injury-prone because the dog pushes off with it around the turn.

Joey Ice was hurt five days after clocking a career- and season-best time of 30.05 seconds on the 550-yard course.

The 33-month-old male out of a litter by Kiowa Sweet Trey and Queen Rania won Derby Lane's top two 550 stakes this year, the $64,000 Sprint Classic on March 1 and the $50,000 Fall Sprint on Oct. 4.

He was the track's win leader in the January-to-June meet, and his 79.5 win percentage was the best by a top dog since Cayman Went won at 83.7 percent in 2003-04.

Cayman Went experienced a similar injury and had two screws placed in his hock. The 11-time stakes winner went on to be an All-America team captain and two-time All-America selection. "Cayman Went came back and ran better," Parker said.

Joey Ice has 46 victories this year from 64 starts, including win streaks of 12 and nine under trainer Belinda Parker. He had won nine of 10 starts before the injury. Joey Ice is a contender for All-America team captain and the Rural Rube, an award for the nation's top sprinter. He is expected to be voted to the eight-dog All-America first team for owner Joey Lingle of Blair, Okla.

Joey Ice has a rabid following. He has been the wagering favorite in his past 50 races; fans in Ireland watch his races on the Internet; and breeders in Australia have inquired for his stud services.

Joey Ice has earned nearly $80,000 with 55 victories from 98 lifetime starts. He has won at least 50 percent of his races from every starting box except the 1-hole, and his career average margin of victory is 4.6 lengths.

"Watching Joey Ice has been surreal," Lingle, 55, said. "It's like watching Unruly or Tell You Why or S.S. Geno from ages past. Those are dogs that have gone down in history, but it's happening in real time. Then it dawns on me that Joey Ice is my dog."

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