Sarava’s Dancer, Kris Royal Dead in Saratoga

Four-year-old Sarava’s Dancer and five-year-old Kris Royal each fractured a leg yesterday in Saratoga. In the same race. Both were euthanized on-track. Watch Sarava’s Dancer (#7), leading at the half-mile mark, “pulling up.” And then, within a matter of seconds, Kris Royal (# 1), making a bid for the lead (“like a shot”), “fell, may have clipped heels.” That’s track-speak for two geldings snapping bones and suffering excruciating pain. To all who placed bets on this lazy, sun-soaked afternoon, for shame.

Subscribe and Get Notified of New Posts


  1. The track needed to get on with the race. Sarvara’s Dancer and Kris Royal were an inconvenience. The race finished and was declared following a “stewards inquiry” ? Two horses running to the best of their ability and then lying on the track in horrific pain before being put out of their misery. Necropsies are needed here.

    • Just disgusting on all levels yet we try to make a change and people like barbara Luna live on working with crap rescues and then hides behind the tracks ..

  2. Why can I not watch the races. It just keeps reloading the start of the race. Anyone know what I am doing wrong.

  3. As bad as this will sound, I wish something like this happened during the Travers, where millions of people would have witnessed it.

    • It has happened in the KY Derby, it has happened during the Breeder’s Cup …. not much changed … people are upset and move on with their lives … the whole thing has to stop !!!

    • It’s happened in many big races, and one year at the Belmont Breeders’ Cup races it happened too many times. People have witnessed these tragedies for years, and it is all part of the risks of horse racing. Like any sport, there are risks of injury and death. Do we stop football because of this? I’m just glad the jockeys are okay – they take the biggest risks. It’s sad for the horses, but to ban the sport for which they were bred and love to do? I think that’s ridiculous – and yes, I support Greyhound racing as well. There are good and bad people and trainers in all sports.

      These horses aren’t inconveniences and people feel the tragedy, we just don’t choose to dwell on it. How many of you are going to the horse auction in Unadilla tonight and outbidding the kill buyers and bringing them home…hmmmm? How many adopted horses do you have, Pat?

      • How, exactly, does someone who refers to him(her)self as “no kill advocate” support an industry (note, most certainly not a sport) that kills thousands of sentient beings each year? And Greyhound racing to boot? A friend to animals you’re not. Incidentally, why is it that virtually every true animal advocate submits an actual name, yet people like you hide (cower) in anonymity?

      • Well, maybe you should start “choosing to dwell on it”. Maybe if folks contemplated the maiming and death of the horses, and didn’t choose to turn away in apathy (not dwell on it), they would then choose to speak out for the defenseless, the innocent ones without a voice to speak for themselves. Are you not familiar with “Once you are aware, you cannot turn away”?…obviously not, you would rather just “not dwell on it”. I feel sorry for any living thing that is in need of help if you are the only one available to shout out for help!

        And yes, there are certainly those of us here that do attend the auctions and do outbid the kill buyers. Funny how folks like you always ask the same questions. Do we save the whales. Do we have rescued horses in our own backyards. Do we care about the cows and pigs and chickens that are slaughtered. Same old questions, different day. Yet you choose to “not dwell” on the tragedies, you just want those of us who DO choose to help to do it all.

        And we do…not all of us have the land to keep horses, or the financial means to outbid the kill buyer on every horse at an auction on any given day, but we do what we can with what we have. We are aware, and unlike you, we have not turned away.

      • Of course you don’t “dwell on it” but someone needs to in order for a modicum of change geared to protecting horse and rider. And for your information not all Thoroughbreds love to race ! Also, perhaps you heard about the 20 dogs or so that were starved to death at Ebro track in FL.? Some dogs even had tape around their muzzles ? Interestingly, nobody at the track had any clue as to what was happening !!!
        And I do have “OFF THE TRACK THOROUGHBREDS ” because I’m lucky enough to have the means to care for them.
        People can be advocates for animal welfare even when they do not own any. Many people contribute to such causes by volunteering their time and money. It is so telling when someone resorts to the old “and how many do you have or how many do you bid on at auction”

  4. Somewhat ironic that this race is named after the founder of Hearst Corporations, the epitome of corporate greed.

  5. I understand what you are saying, Mike…it’s not that we want any horse to suffer such a painful fate, but when it does happen, we want the world to know! When horses die on national television in a high-profile race, this gambling industry will not be able to simply sweep the deaths under the rug. And although the usual “took a bad step” and “it’s one of those things” will be uttered by those rushing to perform damage control, the audience has witnessed the horrific site of the majestic, powerful 1000-pound animal either tumbling to the ground in a heap or attempting to run from the pain on three legs…a site no civil and caring person could ever erase from their mind.

    To Sarava’s Dancer, Kris Royal, Wisdom Seeker, and Jill Golden, New York racing’s most recent “inconveniences”, your breakdowns and deaths are NOT insignificant to those who care deeply about the welfare of racehorses. You were so much more than a means to an end…so much more than a damn bet. You will not be forgotten.

  6. I live not too far from the Saratoga Race Track and never really warmed up to horse racing. I visited the track this year and was in awe of how beautiful the horses were and started to warm up to the sport. This was absolutely horrific! Now I know why I always thought it was such a curl sport. Absolutely ruined my day today when I read the new is the paper.

  7. In the wild, horses run. Horses fall. Horses trip and have accidents just like people, and they often break bones. In the wild, they are left to die a long, slow, painful death that can last days. I horses would be running anyway, I don’t see why people make such a huge deal about horses getting hurt while racing and not about when they get hurt running on their own. I’m not saying it’s right, or that this isn’t a horrible tragedy. Of course it is. It breaks my heart every time I see it. But it would happen in the wild too and would it be any less sad just because people weren’t there to see it? At least if it happens with people around we can help the horse by doing the only thing we can for it: giving it relief from the pain that might otherwise last for days before the horse dies of thirst or hunger.

  8. How about instead of you all bitching about it, do something productive and adopt the horses who need homes when they’re careers are over? Go to auctions and bring them home? Donate all your money to organizations that do it? I work at FLRT and until you’ve worked with the horses themselves shut your mouth about it. I have met horses that hate it, an they end up getting homes but I’ve also met a lot that absolutely love it. I know it’s not all rainbows and butterfly’s, and there are things I don’t agree with, but To see the way the look over the racetrack and proudly walk into the paddock, the way they get all pumped up… It’s purely amazing and I will forever love my racehorses and my SPORT.

Comments are closed.