Horrors in Saratoga: Two Horses Euthanized as Death Count Rises

Written by:
Mary Montgomery
Published on:

Two more horses died Saturday in what is becoming a horrible trend in recent months.

But no track has been as hard this summer as Saratoga.

So far this summer, seven horses have perished at the track.

New York Thunder in the $500,000 H. Allen Jerkens Memorial was among those who had to be euthanized on Saturday.


In the Jerkens Memorial, New York Thunder was leading the way under Tyler Gaffalione when the colt suffered a catastrophic injury to its left front leg in the stretch and fell, according to the New York Racing Association. New York Thunder was euthanized on the track. Gaffalione wasn’t hurt. The colt was trained by Jorge Delgado.

In the day’s fifth race, Nobel and Gaffalione finished fifth and then suffered a catastrophic injury to his left front leg while galloping out afterward, NYRA said. The 4-year-old colt bred in Ireland was euthanized on the track. He was trained by Brendan Walsh.

All seven of the deaths involved catastrophic injuries during racing. The meet began July 13 and has featured 2,461 horses starting in 324 races. A horse named Burning Bright died suddenly during a race because of a major cardiovascular event, NYRA said.

“NYRA is continuing to investigate these catastrophic injuries with HISA officials, the New York State Gaming Commission, and the New York State Equine Medical Director,” NYRA president and CEO Dave O’Rourke said in a statement.

“We will immediately consult with HISA’s Track Surface Advisory Group to further examine the overall condition of all three racing surfaces at Saratoga prior to Sunday’s program. In addition, NYRA will convene a group of relevant outside experts to evaluate our current safety protocols and procedures.”

- Mary Montgomery, Gambling911.com

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