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New Joysey Jeff euthanized at 3
DEL MAR, Calif. - The eventful, curious career of New Joysey Jeff came to a sudden, tragic, and ugly ending Monday morning at Del Mar during a workout on turf, when the 3-year-old stakes-class colt suffered multiple fractures in his left front leg that necessitated his euthanization soon after.
According to an official veterinarian report filed with the California Horse Racing Board by New Joysey Jeff's attending veterinarian, Dr. Ted Simpson, New Joysey Jeff had a "displaced and compound fracture" to his left front cannon bone and had fractures in that leg's sesamoid bones.
"With that kind of injury, it's exceedingly obvious" that there was no hope to save New Joysey Jeff, Simpson said later when reached by phone. "There's no way to treat an injury like that successfully because of the contamination" caused by the compound fracture, Simpson said.
had become something of a cause celebre in recent weeks. On June 25 at Hollywood Park, while headed to an apparent victory in the Cinema Breeders' Cup Handicap, New Joysey Jeff suddenly ducked out, dislodging jockey Jose Valdivia Jr., who suffered a fractured collarbone.
New Joysey Jeff made his next and final start on July 19 at Del Mar, in the second division of the Oceanside Stakes. With Corey Nakatani replacing the injured Valdivia, New Joysey Jeff again tried to duck out at midstretch, but Nakatani stayed on. New Joysey Jeff finished third. He interfered with Obrigado and Porto Santo, but since they subsequently finished in front of New Joysey Jeff, there was no disqualification.
The antics in the Cinema and the Oceanside, however, caused New Joysey Jeff to be placed on the stewards' list. In order for him to race again, he would have to be approved by the stewards.
Monday's workout was an attempt to get New Joysey Jeff off the stewards' list. Mark Glatt, the trainer of New Joysey Jeff, watched the work from the frontside in the company of stewards Scott Chaney and George Slender.
Although there had been turf racing all weekend, turf works scheduled for Saturday were postponed by light rain and moved to Sunday. But light rain again on Sunday postponed scheduled turf works to Monday. It rained overnight Sunday into Monday, but six horses were scheduled to work over the grass on Monday morning.
New Joysey Jeff was the first one on the course, at 9:50 a.m. He began his work at the five-furlong pole and cruised to the top of the stretch while working well out from the rail, outside orange cones, known as dogs, that were placed past the middle of the course.
But just as he changed leads at the furlong pole, New Joysey Jeff broke down.
Nakatani pulled up New Joysey Jeff in less than 100 yards, but the colt's left leg was clearly damaged severely. Glatt raced from the box seats to New Joysey Jeff, but when he got there and saw the damage, he walked over to the outside rail, grabbed it, and his body went limp.
A lengthy process began that resulted in New Joysey Jeff waiting 19 minutes to be placed in the horse ambulance.
The horse ambulance, which was parked on the backside near the three-furlong pole, at first attempted to access the turf course at the half-mile pole. But it could not get up the incline there from the main track to the turf course. So, the horse ambulance was brought around the main track to the homestretch, where another attempt was made to access the turf course, this time at a gap just inside the furlong pole.
Again, however, the ambulance could not get from the main track to the turf course. "The main track was wet, and the turf was wet, and the ambulance kept slipping," said Leif Dickinson, Del Mar's turf course superintendent.
New Joysey Jeff's left front leg had been placed in a Kimzey splint, but because the ambulance could not get closer to him, New Joysey Jeff had to be walked from the spot where he had been pulled up to where the ambulance sat, a distance of about 60 yards. He hobbled to the ambulance, hopping on his right front leg, with his two rear legs pushing forward.
Glatt was at the barn minutes later, sitting in a chair, looking shaken.
"There's not much to say," Glatt said, his eyes red. "We already put him down."
The other five horses who were scheduled to work were not allowed on the course.
"The part of the turf where he broke down needed to be repaired," Dickinson said. "I wanted to repair it right, not quickly. There was no divot. The turf there was 'toupeed.' It was flipped back."
Based on the way the turf looked where New Joysey Jeff was injured, Dickinson said, "It's hard to tell if he took a bad step or slipped. It might have been a slip. The area where he was working was relatively pristine."
Dickinson maintained the turf was safe despite the wet weather.
"We really haven't had that much rain," he said. "It was a steady soaking. The turf is wet, but the profile," he said, referring to the base, "is relatively dry. It's such thick turf that it takes awhile to go down.
"I'm literally shaking now," Dickinson said. "This is hard for everyone involved."
New Joysey Jeff is the second horse to suffer a fatal injury on the turf this meet. On opening day, Blazing Sunset broke down in the same division of the Oceanside in which New Joysey Jeff ducked out.
Star Parade okay for Hirsch
The tantrum that Star Parade threw in the starting gate before the Vanity Handicap at Hollywood Park on July 2 left her with a skinned leg, and left trainer Darrell Vienna frustrated at a missed opportunity for a major prize.
Star Parade was scratched but not injured in the incident - she missed a little more than a week of training - and she will start in Sunday's $300,000 Clement Hirsch Handicap at Del Mar.
What remains uncertain is how she will behave at the gate, and whether jockey Martin Pedroza will employ different tactics on the 7-year-old, who typically runs near the front.
"We've been taking her to the gate," Vienna said. "She's been fine. It's hard to understand. She's never been a problem in the gate."
Vienna said he is unsure what style will be employed in the Clement Hirsch Handicap.
"If there is plenty of speed, I won't be sending," Vienna said. "We had a plan for that last race. We were going to take her back."
Owned by Gary Tanaka, Star Parade is the senior member of an older filly and mare division that has taken turns beating each other in major stakes on dirt this year. She has won 9 of 32 starts and $1,187,219. The highlight of the season was a win in the Grade 1 Santa Maria Handicap at Santa Anita in February. The Santa Maria was run at 1 1/16 miles, the same distance as the Clement Hirsch.
Vienna said that Star Parade's injuries from the recent starting gate incident were only superficial.
"She was never sore," Vienna said. "She lost a lot of hide. She healed well in a week or 10 days."
One Union injures knee again
One Union, second in a division of the Oceanside Stakes here on July 19, has been sidelined with a knee injury for the second time in his career, trainer Richard Mandella said.
One Union underwent surgery last Friday to have a bone chip removed from a knee. He is expected to be out until the Santa Anita winter-spring meeting.
Owned by Herman Sarkowsky, One Union has won three of six starts and $124,110.
- additional reporting by Steve Andersen