(Star Horse) Dance With Fate Dead at Del Mar

All week, I’ve been attempting – with several (unanswered) calls and voice messages – to secure kill confirmations on horses at Charles Town, Mountaineer, and Parx. As we know, transparency isn’t a hallmark of the racing industry. When a star horse goes down, however, information – detailed information – comes fast and easy. Yesterday at Del Mar, 3-year-old – and Grade 1 winner and Kentucky Derby entrant – Dance With Fate was euthanized after rupturing “two of his three large patella ligaments in his right rear leg” during a morning workout. According to a track press-release, the colt “unexplainably bolted to the outside fence near the far turn…crashed and fell heavily.”

Of course before dying, Dance With Fate received the kind of attention not afforded pedestrian claimers:

“Dr. Von Bluecher, along with veterinarians Dr. Jeff Blea and Dr. Jen Finley, all attended to the horse throughout the morning. X-rays of the injury were taken and shared with famed equine orthopedic surgeon Dr. C. Wayne McIlwraith at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. The injury, which was complicated by possible infection and further injuries in the stifle area, meant the horse’s patella (akin to a human knee cap) would not be able to bear weight. It was the consensus among the veterinarians that the severity of the injury left his connections euthanization as their only humane choice.”

And, as usual, the fatuity flows – trainer Peter Eurton: “Words can’t express what we’re feeling right now. With an extremely heavy heart we report Dance With Fate was unable to survive his injuries. Thank you for all of the support during a rough time like this. The joy he gave us will never be forgotten.”

Let’s be clear here: The joy of which Mr. Eurton speaks did not spring from some innocent interaction with an intelligent and graceful animal. Rather, it was a joy directly correlated to pots of gold won; with three wins (in nine starts) and $680,000 earnings, what trainer Eurton and the colt’s owners will grieve most is a lucrative revenue stream gone dry before its time. This is horseracing.

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  1. Just shows how money and, to a lesser degree, ego are what matter in this business. The colt, Dance With Fate, will be missed in terms of earnings, period. These injuries come from pushing a still developing colt beyond his capabilities and then, of course, there is the small matter of all the “legal” medications that are part and parcel of this business.

    R.I.P Dance With Fate. Racing destroyed you in a very short time.

  2. There’s no doubt that the owners will miss Dance With Fate thanks to human greed. The 3 yr. old should have never been on a race track in the first place. The distorted minds of the owners to push a very young horse cost Dance With Fate his life and cost them big bucks. I’m wondering if these stupid people’s mentality is that the younger the horse, the faster it will run, because they can’t seem to wait for the horses to mature physically. Kill them young is what I see, all because greed. R.I.P. Dance With Fate. Another lived a very short life, once again at the hands of sorry excuses of horse owners.

  3. To quote Mr. Eurton…”with an extremely heavy heart”….Really, Eurton? I bet your heart was heavy because Dance With Fate was a BIG money winner. Is your heart heavy when the low level claimers die in the dirt? Do those horses give you “joy” when they labor year after year (if they survive) so that some gambling jerk can place a bet? You, Eurton, disgust me.

  4. And what joy did these curs give Dance With Fate? None – they gave him pain and suffering both physically and psychologically. Interesting the mention of an infection. I believe Dance knew he wasn’t up to it and bolted because he wanted to escape. I looked after a 3 year old filly who was being forced to do trackwork when she was not up to it and she hated racing. Her behaviour said it all. One morning she did what Dance did, just bolted and the rider said she just aimed for the fence and couldn’t understand why she did this. Shockingly injured and in agony until a vet arrived to euthanase her.

  5. From all of the accounts I have read he did not really “bolt” in the usual way. His left rein either broke or came unfastened. This apparently caused him to be guided into the fence with the right rein. He was fine until that point.I don’t disagree with your philosophy. In this case it really was an accident not because there was anything wrong with the horse.

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