Updated on 08/02/2014 12:19AM

Filly's collapse leads to long delay


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – The 3-year-old filly Lavender Road was in stable condition at a nearby equine hospital Wednesday after suffering from head trauma and heat stroke, according to her trainer, Abigail Adsit.

Lavender Road, who was scheduled to run in the seventh race, a starter allowance for horses who had won their maiden for a claiming tag of $50,000 or less, was ordered a late scratch by Dr. Anthony Verderosa, the chief examining veterinarian for the New York Racing Association. Jockey Junior Alvarado, who had ridden Lavender Road in her last start and who was on her in the post parade, said he told Verderosa he didn’t like the way the filly was warming up, adding, “She was making a weird noise. She wasn’t herself.”

After the other horses completed the race, Lavender Road was being led off the track when she collapsed near the gap where horses enter the track from the paddock. The area is well within view of the public, many of whom gathered around to watch as vets and track personnel tended to the filly.

When Lavender Road attempted to get up, she hit her head against the padding on the rail, Adsit said, suffering head trauma. Over the course of the next hour, a disoriented Lavender Road attempted to get up 10 times, ultimately falling each time.

“The heat stroke caused her to fall down,” Adsit said. “She kept getting up because she was trying to fight her way through it.”

The decision was eventually made to sedate Lavender Road, and she was placed on a mat, slid into the equine ambulance, and transported to Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital, just a few miles from the track.

Adsit said Lavender Road did not have any other injuries aside from the head trauma.

“That’s going to be her mountain to climb,” Adsit said.

Adsit praised the work of Verderosa, Dr. Scott Palmer, NYRA’s equine medical director, and her own vet, Tara O’Brien, for their roles in attempting to help Lavender Road.

“Everybody was trying to use their best judgment,” Adsit said. “Dr. Verderosa was nothing but helpful and made the best decision given what we knew at the time.”

The incident caused Saratoga’s eighth race to be delayed 53 minutes.

Crystal David More than 1 year ago
Why did it take them an hour to decide to sedate her? Really? They let her struggle to get up and then fall 10 times before they thought of trying something else? Poor girl! Best wishes to her and her connections!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My thoughts as well.
Corinna Wildermuth More than 1 year ago
My thoughts as well…beyond me. Poor filly had to suffer. I love this sport; I love the horses; but this kind of behavior makes me sick.
Chuck Seddio More than 1 year ago
hats off to jr alvarado sensing somethng wrong,he couold have been part of a tragic accident on the track had he not used his experience to prevent his horse from entering the gate, unlike john velasques knowing life at ten was not right and he let her walk out of hte gate in the breeders cup distaff a few years ago. this incident yesterday just opened up a bad wound for me and i will ;never forgive jv for his
flash gordon More than 1 year ago
Right on.also protect the betting public
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Why do people get sick? Why do otherwise seemingly healthy people that are physically fit suddenly have a stroke? STUFF HAPPENS! All you conspiracy theorists or reactionary loudmouths please shut up for one day at least! A bunch of know-it-alls with nothing to do but complain and stir-up dirt everyday. A pathetic bunch!
Philip Conforti More than 1 year ago
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
You did not know that these are machines, and when something is wrong with the machine blame the operator. They can not possibly be flesh and blood animals
mike More than 1 year ago
You're the know-it-all,at least you think.
Corinna Wildermuth More than 1 year ago
Posting anonymous! Where is your courage?
raymond More than 1 year ago
How in the world does a 3yo. filly walk from the barn area to the paddock, saddled observed by the attending vet, the trainer, groom and the interested public, of whom some have a equine education not notice something may have been ailing this young un experienced filly? Maybe we are not getting the whole story, and this filly had some problems prior to this happening. Thanks to Junior and the commission vet for noticing something just wasn't right and scratched.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
the problem must be the trainer anxious to get her back into the gate after she won her last.
Walter More than 1 year ago
Kudos to Junior for sensing the problem early and getting her scratched. If she ran, it could've been a huge disaster. Hope she recovers fully very soon.
Juan DE La Cruz More than 1 year ago
Agreed 100%!! That's the real jockey!!
KissmeCatexoxo More than 1 year ago
Something doesn't seem right and they should investigate.
mikeg More than 1 year ago
Another conspiracy theorist, just what we need. The next time you get a headache I think there should be an investigation.
Steve Wilson More than 1 year ago
Exactly - I wonder if KissmeCate had anything to say about Del Mars turf course deaths.
mike More than 1 year ago
Wow? Can you even count to ten?
KissmeCatexoxo More than 1 year ago
A headache and collapsing are two different issues. But I guess that you know all and everything that happened. I stand corrected Mikeg. Usually horses don't collapse on a 75 degree day with or without Lasix otherwise is would be a daily event. I was merely suggesting that maybe the horse has an underlying health issue such as a heart condition.
flash gordon More than 1 year ago
whats to investigate? that they didn' t run her?
Union_Rags More than 1 year ago
God Bless Lavender
William Eisele More than 1 year ago
sorry about the filly, hope she pulls thru ok...obviously she has some underlying issues, I'm so sick of the uneducated or should I say them with a little knowledge(of which we know ,can be a very dangerous thing) always jumping on the "gotta ban Lasix" bandwagon,when something goes awry on the racetrack
G More than 1 year ago
I dont think Lasix should be banned, if I am the person you are reffering to? Lasix is an essential medication for race horses. Which is why I did not say anything about banning it but it does cause these horses using it to loose a large amount of fluids. As it is a diuretic intended to help remove the fluid build up from the lungs of horses as well as humans who use Lasix to prvent them from essentially drowning in their own blood. Not that I have to defend myself to a know it all.
mike More than 1 year ago
Then why are you?
mom More than 1 year ago
Maybe something was wrong with the way the saddle was on Girth too tight , twisted or pinching something could cause a problem. Even an issue with the sternum. Stranger things have happened. Ive seen them "faint" from a tongue tie. Poor thing. Good move on the jocks part ...self preservation
G More than 1 year ago
Lasix can cause severe dehydration, thus making heat stroke much easier to come about. Once Lasix is administered these horses begin urinating large amounts. While Lasix is generally a good medication to aleviate the fluid build up in the lungs of horses, the side effects can be terrible. If there were other medications in her system that could have caused her disorientation and the Lasix doesnt hide them, they will be discovered. 75 degrees outside at Saratoga can translate to a much higher temperature and accompanied with humidty in an inclosed stall.
Dick Brasher More than 1 year ago
G,you are a smart man...you are one of the only people I know,who realizes that lasix covers other drugs....That`s why first time lasix horses used to be the bet in a race.