(Trainer Buff Bradley and rider Calvin Borel exchanged a hug after The Player won the Hagyard Fayette Stakes at Keeneland last Fall / Photo Courtesy of Keeneland Race Course)

The Player — an impressive winner of the Haygard Fayette Stakes at Keeneland last October and the Mineshaft Stakes at the Fair Grounds this winter — sustained a serious injury on Saturday while running in the New Orleans Handicap.

According to trainer Buff Brady, who we contacted via text messages on Saturday and Sunday, the colt broke both sesamoids in his right front leg while running on the lead midway through the final turn of the New Orleans Handicap. Recognizing his horse was injured, jockey Calvin Borel immediately pulled him up and steered him to the back of the pack.

The Player was stabilized at the track before being transported to LSU clinic. The surgical procedure will attempt to fuse the ankle.

On Sunday night, Bradley texted: “Just got back from seeing him. He looks good, bright eyed and hungry for peppermints.”

Today, we wished the affable and talented trainer all the best for both he and his prized “friend” — The Player.

The Player, you see, is a true character and has become a folk hero on the backside of nearly every racetrack he visits. Since birth, the colt has had a tendency to sit on his hind haunches like a pet dog, and every morning, he will wiggle himself out of the bottom of his stall and lay his head in the shed row — until carrots or peppermints arrive.

Bradley got so used to seeing his buddy every morning, that he got a pillow for his head. And, now, the colt has his own Facebook page.

We will keep you updated on the progress of the surgery today, and, like many others, we are wishing both horse and trainer all the best today.