Win, place, or cell

Can a company harness stem cells to treat injured horses?

Margaret Guthrie
Jan 24, 2008
He sees us coming, head sticking out of his stall at Santa Anita racetrack in Arcadia, Calif., ears forward to catch the sounds of voices and the crinkling cellophane that heralds his favorite: peppermints. Four days earlier, Greg's Gold won again, pushing his earnings to $951,000 and setting a track record for 7.5 furlongs on the closing weekend at Hollywood Park.None of that seemed likely two years ago. In 2005, Greg's Gold ended a race he won with a bowed tendon. "The ligaments were just shredded," says the horse's trainer, David Hofmans, "and that usually means the end of a racehorse's career." The tendon and ligaments will heal with time off, but the resulting scar tissue reduces flexibility and the horse is slowed down significantly.
Hofmans and veterinarian Wade Byrd didn't want the horse's career to be over. Byrd had a solution: After administering a local anesthetic, he made an...

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