Updated on 09/14/2013 10:31AM

Belmont Park: Mentor Cane, King's Bishop runner-up, euthanized after breaking leg

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Barbara D. Livingston
Mentor Cane works at Saratoga on Sept. 4 under exercise rider Humberto Gomez. He was euthanized Thursday after fracturing a hind leg.

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Mentor Cane, a promising 3-year-old sprinter who finished second in the Grade 1 King’s Bishop Stakes on Aug. 24 at Saratoga, suffered a broken right hind leg during training Thursday morning at Belmont Park and had to be euthanized.

Mentor Cane was one of two training fatalities Thursday as Skiddles n’ Bob, a 5-year-old mare trained by Chris Englehart, suffered fractured sesamoids in her left foreleg during a routine gallop over the training track and had to be euthanized.

Mentor Cane, a son of Mizzen Mast trained by John Shirreffs for Ann and Jerry Moss, suffered his injury during a workout. Jockey Edgar Prado was aboard for the work, which Mentor Cane began about five lengths behind Mr Commons. About a quarter-mile into the move, Prado heard “a pop” and pulled the horse up immediately.

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However, Mentor Cane could not bear weight on his right hind leg and had to be euthanized on the track.

“It’s heart-breaking,” said Shirreffs, who was working Mentor Cane toward a start in the Grade 1 Vosburgh here Sept. 28.

Mentor Cane showed great promise when he won a maiden race by five lengths at Belmont on July 6 in his third career start. In the Grade 2 Amsterdam at Saratoga on July 28, he bore out while pressing the early pace and finished fourth, beaten 2 1/2 lengths.

In the King’s Bishop, he was four lengths in front at the eighth pole before being run down by Capo Bastone.

“It’s a shame because he could’ve had a great future,” Prado said. “He was learning to settle, learning to rate, seemed to be improving.”

Skiddles n’ Bob, a daughter of Sharp Humor, was a 5-year-old mare who won 5 races from 29 starts, including her last start at Finger Lakes on July 22. She had been claimed several times throughout her career, most recently by Englehart on April 14 at Aqueduct.

There was a third incident during training hours in which an unraced 2-year-old filly trained by Jason Servis dumped her exercise rider during a gallop. The rider, Cesar Garcia, was taken to a local hospital, but was reported to be okay by Servis.

Donna Carlson More than 1 year ago
It is so sad. RIP Mentor Cane. Enjoyed watching you run and was looking forward to watching you mature and improve. Loved the way he came out of the gate, like he had been shot out of a cannon. Condolences to the connections. They are a group of people that are so commendable for the way that they care for their horses. This is the hard part.
Daniel Alvarado More than 1 year ago
Damn! What a shame...such a beautiful, talented and promising colt. I bet him in the Kings Bishop and remember high-fiving everyone in sight cuz I thought he had it at the 1/8 pole. He would've been a good one for sure, but that's horse racing folks...RIP Mentor Cane.
nicholas More than 1 year ago
My condolences to the connections of both horses. Mentor cane was a magnificent creature -- one of my favorites -- John sherriffs is a top horseman but ill bet he wishes he stayed on the west coast
Dee Englehart More than 1 year ago
My condolences go out to John Shirreffs. Edgar Prado, and to Jerry and Ann Moss. This is a group of people that really have shown that they put their horses welfare first and don't race them until they're ready. I'm sure this is a heartbreaking time for them, especially to have something like this happen during training. R.I.P. Mentor Cane.
martymar . More than 1 year ago
quite disheartening to hear mentor cane had to be pts because of injuries sustained in training.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Here's to the Horse.
Brandon Layer More than 1 year ago
New York: the horse breakdown Capitol of the world
Mark More than 1 year ago
California : the horse drop dead Capitol of the world .
Barbara Livingston More than 1 year ago
Brandon, The statistics, at the end of the '13 Saratoga meet, seemed to reflect that Saratoga, at 1.5 breakdowns per 1,000, is well below the national average of 1.92/thousand. Not sure how Belmont fares - but the rumors of huge numbers of breakdowns at Saratoga, at least, were unfounded.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Stop with the badmouth, both of you jerkoffs
Greg Stevens More than 1 year ago
Is it just me or have there been a lot of horses put down in NY this year? One of the last days of Saratoga 2 horses were put down in the same race after being injured at different points....time to evaluate the safety of the tracks up there
Barbara Livingston More than 1 year ago
The statistics, at the end of the '13 Saratoga meet, seemed to reflect that the track, at 1.5 breakdowns per 1,000, was well below the national average of 1.92 per thousand (according to the Saratogian meet wrap-up). Rumors to the contrary were in error. The race-day breakdowns occurred over different surfaces - 5 over 40 days - 2 on the main track, 2 inner turf (same race, which was odd), one turf. Saratoga obviously gets more press about their breakdowns because, well, it's Saratoga: much-watched, and sometimes involving world-class horses, like Saginaw. Mentor's Cane's loss is devastating.
Chris Evers More than 1 year ago
I assume the national average includes all the bush-league tracks, i.e. Turf paradise, Ruidoso, Mountaineer etc.? If so that aggregate number includes lots of cheap, sore horses, and it's not a relevant comp with Saratoga.
Barbara Livingston More than 1 year ago
Apparently not, Chris, if I'm understanding this list correctly...looks like just under 100 tracks, all-told, and it seems much fewer than half participate in the database (I haven't counted the entire list...just winging it on #s). Only the ones with blue asterisks seem to be part of the database...and none of the tracks you listed are highlighted. NYRA has three of the tracks in the study. If I'm reading this incorrectly, or if it's not the national list they use (it sure looks like it), my apologies: http://www.jockeyclub.com/initiatives.asp?section=2
Alejandro Anza More than 1 year ago
No matter they age,bloodlines,talent and on and on... is very sad.
Mark More than 1 year ago
Terrible loss. RIP big guy. Condolences to all involved.