01/08/2014 12:43PM

Laughing, Eclipse Award finalist, dies from colic complications

Michael Amoruso
Laughing earned Grade 1 wins in the Flower Bowl Invitational and the Diana in 2013.

Laughing, a two-time Grade 1-winning mare in 2013, died early Tuesday due to complications from colic, according to her connections.

Laughing’s death came one day before she was announced as a finalist for the Eclipse Award as North America’s champion female turf horse. In 2013, Laughing won 4 of 5 starts, including the Grade 1 Diana at Saratoga and the Grade 1 Flower Bowl Invitational at Belmont Park.

Her other victories in 2013 came in the Grade 3 Eatontown at Monmouth Park and the Grade 2 Ballston Spa at Saratoga. Her lone loss of the year came when she finished seventh in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf.

Laughing was owned by Richard Santulli and trained by Alan Goldberg. Santulli said he had planned to campaign Laughing, an Irish-bred daughter of Dansili, this year as a 6-year-old.

“This is the tough part about this business,” Santulli said Wednesday. “But she gave us so many great memories last year, more than at any time since Safely Kept.”

Said Goldberg: “I don’t think the highs ever make up for the lows.”

According to Goldberg, Laughing – who was based at Santulli’s training center in Colts Neck, N.J. – appeared to first get ill Monday night. After being treated by veterinarian Allan Wise, Laughing was vanned to the Mid-Atlantic Equine Medical Center. On Tuesday morning, during surgery, it was discovered that Laughing had a twisted gut, according to Goldberg, and it could not be repaired.

Laughing began her career in Ireland with trainer Charlie O’Brien and raced for Mrs. John Magnier and Mrs. Jacqueline O’Brien. Santulli purchased her in fall 2011 and raced her for the first time in the Grade 1 E.P. Taylor at Woodbine, where she finished seventh.

In 2012, Laughing won 2 of 6 starts, highlighted by a score in the Grade 3 Matchmaker at Monmouth. For her career, Laughing had a record of 8 wins, 2 seconds, and 3 thirds from 16 starts and earned $1,178,855.