02/22/2007 1:00AM

Gelding dead after van incident


A horse being transported to Belmont Park from a training center in upstate New York was euthanized Wednesday evening after one of his hind legs went through the floor of the van along a major New York highway.

Please Be Quick, a 4-year-old New York-bred gelding, was euthanized by veterinarians at Belmont because of his injuries to the leg. According to published reports, motorists on the Cross Bronx Expressway noticed the horse's leg dangling through the floor of the truck and notified the truck driver to stop. The truck was owned by Ebert Vans Inc. of Elmont, N.Y.

Please Be Quick, who had 1 win from 9 starts, was the only one of four horses on the van who was injured. He was one of three horses on the van trained by Linda Rice. The fourth horse was trained by Bruce Levine.

"Obviously, it's horrible," Rice said. "The horse had raced well on the grass last fall and we were just bringing him in to resume training to point for grass races in April and May. We're all just devastated by this. As far as what took place, they're sorting that out."

A message left for Ebert officials was not returned.