Charmed Hour Dead in Saratoga

Two-year-old Charmed Hour, running only her 2nd race, shattered her right front cannon bone during Sunday’s Grade 2 Adirondack (for fillies) in Saratoga. She was euthanized on the track. With the added intrigue of a winner disqualification, Charmed Hour’s fall was barely mentioned by media outlets: The Saratogian, 1 paragraph in 12; the Paulick Report, 1 sentence in 21; the Times Union, 2 sentences in 14; and The Daily Gazette, which, in addition to a similar disparity, reported that “the fatality was the first of the meet, in either racing or training.” Not true, and something the newspaper should have known. 2013 death count at sunny Saratoga: 2.

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  1. It is amazing there were not more injuries or fatalities in this race of literal babies. It was a 6-horse field of two-year-old fillies, and of the six, only ONE of these babies wasn’t slammed into by one of the other contenders…only one. One little filly was bumped so hard that she was “turned sideways”. Babies…being slammed into, having to maneuver through tight quarters, being “pulled” on with “solid force”…and snapping a front leg. Summertime Saratoga entertainment.

    RIP 2-year-old Charmed Hour.

  2. I was very close to this filly. I noticed the same thing. Although I must say that the friends of the stable have been so loving & supportive. Their condolences, kind words & prayers mean more than anything at a time like this. CHARMED HOUR was new to the race track & not well known by the public yet, but to all of us that saw her, trained her, rode her & loved her….she was famous! She will be missed.

  3. this filly will be missed,she was a winner! Her family in Tennessee is heart broke she will not be forgotten,thank you!Joy thank you for your thoughts,yes they are babies,she is loved

    • Is that all you can say Kellie? I’m sure the owners of Charmed Hour will say their hearts are broke, shed tears and say they miss her but go right back to repeating the same mistakes again–the same twisted thinking centered dollar signs and greed. This should make you mad to the core that we don’t push for rule changes such that racehorses of any breed cannot race until age 4….period!! Please do more than just have pity.

  4. Two year old horses should not run in races!
    They are to young, not fully grown and the chance of getting hurt or life threatening injury is very high!
    Why do we allow this?
    Because people are greedy and money rules those horses life!

  5. wow. Perhaps those who “loved, trained, rode, ect” a 2 year old who’s bones/joints are not even fully developed yet, should have known better. You are at fault for this horses demise!! Take an equine anatomy class!! The heartbroken owners pimped out their baby into the racing industry for money…….my heart is just breaking for THEM!
    If this is how you “love” a horse, mine will do fine without!!

  6. This makes me furious!! If more owners cared about the real welfare and health of their horse, they would put greed for money and prestige aside and wait until these racehorses are 3 before they begin training but not start racing until age 4. We must allow more time for their bones and tendons to mature, harden and strengthen. Think my points are unsubstantiated and just based on emotion? Then Google a study titled “Fetlock joint kinematics differ with age in thoroughbred racehorses” by Michael T. Butcher, M.A. Ashley-Ross and read for yourself.

  7. Babies, human or horse-since they are smaller and more subject to the slings and arrows of hard life,have very flexible bones and joints. They are more rubbery and able to absorb shock than an adult’s bones.Young,intense racing schedules are only one of a perfect storm of issues plauging the breed usage. I noticed Black Rhino gets no mention at all,not even a buried one. Charmed must have been regarded as a more important prospect. I am curious as to why they have so changed this breed,with it’s triple lineage back to the strongest/most durable horses the world has produced,the desert breeds. Able to survive,thrive,and thrill with their feet running in deep, shifting, hoof grinding sand/or high desert snow,to their lungs processing huge quantities of superheated,gritty,dry air and their eyes seeing far distances despite blinding glare and grit. Race people have taken gold and turned it into dross in only a few hundred years. It isn’t a shame,or a freak accident. It is deliberate breeding and accentuating one quality only,and the depth of misery and loss endured by the entire “sport” due to this is staggering. The horse is the second strongest land animal in the world.Thoroughbred racing has 3.5 catastrophic breakdowns per 1000 starts. That is higher than any legal sport involving human or animal including Boxing,Motor sports,or the dog equivilant,Greyhounds. WTH are you doing?!!!Go back. Go back to breeding for racing and steeplechase and saddle horse. The bettors and and the spectators will still come,they will always come to watch and to bet and to buy. Your investments don’t have to die on the track to set ever higher records and speeds. Go back to Sir Archy,American Eclipse,Big Red,Phar Lap. Their muscle mass and speed was supported by their bone. Race em older,and press the tracks to go to the synthetics. Use less chemical support to maintain your horses. The Vet science is fantastic and the breakthroughs in medicine are great,but the industry is relying too heavily on them. If the Industry is gonna go forward,they need to go back.

    • In the interest of fairness, we publish your comment, Fairlyt. But make no mistake, we hold that horseracing is inherently cruel, and as such, no amount of reform will do.

    • Very well said Fairlyt Spencer. They don’t breed em’ like Secretariat and the other champions you mention anymore. It all boils down to greed and money and sometimes the welfare of the horse is forgotten.

  8. Kelly-you are despicable. You ‘were close to her and will miss her.” You are despicable. I am sickened that you would dare post on this blog. I really hate you.

  9. Her family will miss her? Are you kidding me?!? More likely they miss the money she could have made for them! But instead, now they have a little filly who was literally run to her death…. and they, the owners, caused it! Twisted, sick entertainment!

  10. As a scientist I believe in scientific (!!!) research. And scientific research PROVES that 2 year old horses should not be ridden. And definitely not raced. So, if you love your animal, why do you do THAT ???
    Just disgusting!

    • Susanne Krispien:

      Do you have a link to an article or study you could post that supports your claim that PROVES that 2 year old horses should not be ridden? I would very much like to see it. Thank you.

  11. It’s almost impossible to find information on Saturday’s fatal first race. ESPN, Saratoga and Albany media are a disgrace. Plenty of information on the “Alabama Stakes” race…nothing about a jockey who was unconscious when he was placed in an ambulance.

  12. The underlying issue is the breeding…we are not breeding thoroughbreds the way we did 30+ years ago. The stamina and distance gene seems to take a back seat to the sprint/speed gene. If not for greed and thoughts of dollar signs dancing in some owners heads, then I wonder why not a return to the principles of years ago.

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