Lavender Road, Quorum, and Majic Laughter Dead in NY

3-year-old Lavender Road, whom I wrote about this morning, was euthanized today after repeatedly falling at Saratoga yesterday afternoon. The official cause was a broken neck – from, of course, the repeated falls. The larger question, though, is why this apparently healthy 3-year-old – an equine child, really – collapsed in the first place. Heatstroke? Perhaps, but yesterday was a comfortable, low-humidity day in Saratoga. Any insights, trainer Abigail Adsit? Breeder Lawrence Goichman?

5-year-old Quorum, trained by Victor Carrasco and owned by Gladys Falcon, is confirmed dead (fractured sesamoids) after being vanned off Tuesday at Finger Lakes (race 6). This is the fourth kill at that track in the last two weeks (Indomitable Woman, Chichita, Gimmeanotherwink), and 18th since the meet began in April.

And finally, pity the poor Standardbreds: Their deaths go mostly unnoticed – though not from any lack of effort here – and even when we get a confirmation, details are few and far between. Witness the end for 5-year-old Majic Laughter Tuesday at Batavia Downs. The Gaming Commission, which couldn’t even get her name right (“Majical Laughter”), says only that she died “unattended.” Died “unattended.” Nine Standardbreds have died at NYS tracks this year. This is horseracing.


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  1. Adsit will claim it was an accident. An accidental broken neck, due to an accidental fall, due to heat stroke or heat exhaustion or heat stress…any of which she’ll claim were not her responsibility, either. In order for the filly to be suffering from a heat-related insult, there had to be factors present that would INDUCE an elevated internal temperature. The weather was not a factor…so just go to your veterinary “bible”, fellow equestrians, and read the possible reasons this filly was so physically compromised she went down. I doubt Adsit will be found guilty, but not because she isn’t.

  2. She did not break her neck from repeated falls, she sustained a fracture in a vertebrae in her neck due to hitting it on the rail upon getting back up. It was found later after x-rays were taken that she had the fracture. Upon going to Rood and Riddle there was an update saying she was in stable condition with a close eye on her, monitoring her condition. Unfortunately, finding out about the fracture was not good news, euthanasia ensued shortly thereafter. What is still a mystery is why did she collapse. Im not really buying the heatstroke thing, it wasnt that hot out that day and there was low humidity. We know something wasnt right with her upon getting to the gate because the jockey made note of it, he said she was making odd noises during the warm up, he brought it to attention and had her scratched. She was on her way back off the track and back to her barn when suddenly she fell.

  3. No one is using their common sense when doping these horses. Trainers feed their horses Lasix because it makes them “run lighter”. Where did they learn this? Lasix makes you urinate more taking the fluids from your body. Hence, dehydration comes into play. The horses are sweating on their way to the gates as allot of times the weather is in the upper 80’s and lower 90’s, then they are expected to run 35 – 40 mph? No wonder they collapse on the field, they are dehydrated, salt, potassium, electro lights, their levels are completely out of whack. Then they dope them with pain killers. A body can only take so much before it quits working. What is wrong with these people?

  4. Obviously they have also forgotten that dehydration can also shut the kidneys down. I don’t understand why they are giving these horses so many drugs and expect them to run and win a race. One day a horse is going to cross the finish line and win by default as it will be the only horse to finish the race. I am so angry

  5. The filly appears to have been totally mismanaged starting with the whatever drugs she received prior to the race, then walking her back to the barn and having her get to her feet 10 times after each collapse. What a scene that must have been. It was nothing short of torture for the filly and if it did not cause the fracture it sure exacerbated it.

    There should be a full necropsy. However, I seriously doubt there would be any disclosure that would “discredit” those involved with the horse. The whole sorry business is as close to a “closed system” that one can imagine.

  6. How distressing and heartbreaking it is to hear this three-year-old-filly died. RIP, little Lavender Road…what an unnatural life you were forced to endure only to also suffer a horrific death. Such is horseracing.

    Abigail Adsit is claiming the filly repeatedly fell due to heat exhaustion/stress/stroke. She goes on to “inform” us that heat exhaustion can take place even when the outside temperature and humidity are not elevated, as they were not on that day. A blind man can see Adsit is attempting to avoid any responsibility in this filly’s death. Yet in claiming a heat-related insult, does Adsit not realize there must be certain factors present to induce an elevated internal temperature? And that those factors – outside of high heat and humidity – point the guilty finger at her? In addition, a horse suffering from heat exhaustion exhibits signs and symptoms over a period of time…it’s not “zero to sixty” in a matter of seconds! So is Adsit asking us to believe that in the time Lavender Road was walked from the barn to the paddock, saddled, and had the jockey assisted astride her, she suffered the insult? And without any significant expenditure of energy she became so compromised that she went down TEN TIMES? And why didn’t Adsit see the symptoms before she legged the jockey up and sent Lavender Road onto the track? Or did she?

    Not long ago, a post by Adsit came through on my newsfeed, announcing a Thoroughbred racing partnership of which she is the trainer. She was asking folks to join the partnership, all the while exclaiming the excitement of the “Sport of Kings”. In addition, there was a short paragraph on how this racing group “cares” about the horses and will set aside a “percentage” of their required fees for equine retirement purposes. I did comment, asking how they proposed to assist in the retirement of the horses they unloaded in claiming races, but I was quickly “escorted” off the page. Yet what I found especially insulting was this final sentence of hers, which was stated in regards to her “equine retirement plan”…it was “Horses giving back to horses”. And why is it, Ms. Adsit, the HORSES must give back?…haven’t they given enough already?

    Rose, I too, believe a necropsy should be performed. But I agree nothing would come of it anyway. Lavender Road’s horrific struggle for life and premature death will go the way of all racehorse deaths. Forgotten.

    • Yes there should be a necropsy done on all of the horses that “just” collapse on the field for no apparent reason. They will probably find that their kidneys and livers are damaged from the drugs they are using on them. Why can’t they see this?

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