03/22/2014 6:24PM

Santa Anita: Vagabond Shoes, stakes winner in U.S. and Europe, euthanized

Shigeki Kikkawa
Vagabond Shoes won the Grade 2 San Marcos in February.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Trainer John Sadler paid tribute to Vagabond Shoes, who was euthanized on Saturday after suffering a cannon bone injury to his left hind leg earlier in the day in the $196,250 San Luis Rey Stakes at Santa Anita.

Vagabond Shoes was racing last in the field of five when he was pulled up by jockey Victor Espinoza. A 7-year-old gelding, Vagabond Shoes was euthanized shortly after being taken off the racetrack, according to track stewards.

“We’re shocked right now,” Sadler said. “We’re just stunned. Victor said he heard a pop on the backstretch.

“He was such a good horse.”

Owned by Hronis Racing while running in the United States, Vagabond Shoes won 8 of 30 starts and earned $665,747, racing in Spain, France, Turkey, Dubai, Germany, and California.

He won twice in Spain in 2010 before being sent to France where he won the Group 3 Prix Messidor at Maisons-Laffitte in 2011, and the Group 3 Prix du Chemin de Fer du Nord at Chantilly in 2012. In Dubai, Vagabond Shoes ran three times in early 2012, including a third in a $120,000 handicap at Meydan.

After a third in the Group 2 Oettingen-Rennen at Baden-Baden, Germany, in August 2012, Vagabond Shoes was purchased for approximately $125,000 by French bloodstock agent Hubert Guy at the Arqana Arc sale.

The gelding joined Sadler’s stable that fall, and made his United States debut with a ninth in the Grade 2 Arcadia Stakes at Santa Anita in February 2013.

Vagabond Shoes lost his next four starts, including second-place finishes in an optional claimer at Hollywood Park last May and the Grade 1 Eddie Read Stakes at Del Mar last July, before winning the Grade 2 Del Mar Handicap last August. Vagabond Shoes was second in the Grade 2 John Henry Turf Championship at Santa Anita last September, and fifth, beaten 2 1/4 lengths, in the Breeders’ Cup Turf last November. Vagabond Shoes had one start earlier this year, a win in the Grade 2 San Marcos Stakes over 1 1/4 miles on turf on Feb. 8.

RachelL More than 1 year ago
I only feel for the horse. The owner and trainer, I don't have much faith in about their "grief". My heart is with the horses. Are these owners really all that upset, or are they suddenly all better after a few days? He was a gelding, even so, he could have been retired years ago to a race horse retirement facility. RIP with Barbaro , Vagabond Shoes.
Debbie More than 1 year ago
RIP Vagabond Shoes.
Forego137 More than 1 year ago
Come on people stick to the story, the story is about VAGABOND SHOES not PETA or cheating in the sport. All you that are writing crap about horse racing are most likely to be at the track today and one of the first in line to get in to go place a bet. Cut the crap and go read your racing forms for today's races. You all know who I'm referring to
prose More than 1 year ago
I agree with John Smith. But the Asmussen/PETA video has made us all sick. And many are leaving the sport and refusing to bet on it anymore. Are we to suppose that the Bafferts and the Pletchers and the Nesses are any better? They're out there, guys, everyday, killing horses for your enjoyment.
John Smith More than 1 year ago
Wondering why people's heart always go out to the trainer, owner, jockeys when a horse breaks down and is euthanized.. Most of these high priced runners are generously insured.. the owner grieves for a few days, and then waits for his insurance claim.. The trainer gives a tearful speech about how he will miss the horse and then moves on, over medicates other runners to get his 10% etc etc.. The poor horse gives his life for these people ( majority of them money hungry and greedy).. and the horse should be the sole recipient of our prayers.. Incidentally, I have owned race horses for 29 yrs, and I have seen first hand the illegalities at the track .. I am not a big money maker probably because I think the horse's welfare should come first . Of the hundreds of runners I have saddled throughout the years, I have had only one break down.. it was in the beginning when I was green as an owner, and it took me several months to return to the sport after that tragedy..Even today, . I refuse to supermedicate my horses just to make a buck.
ghost2_ More than 1 year ago
You're pretty cynical, and it's unfair of you to talk as if you know exactly how all the connections of this particular horse feel. But I guess it's pretty easy to read other people's minds from the rarified air of your superior pedestal.
Forego137 More than 1 year ago
Thank god we have you that knows it all and can read others minds to keep us mindless idiots in the loop, have you ever thought of getting a reality show Mr Know it all, it must be a joy to live w/you and your know it all ways
Suzette Opdycke More than 1 year ago
100% right. Greed drives the industry and then these idiots (who don't like your educated post) fuel the greed with their stupidity. Keep doing things the way you do, one breakdown in 29 yrs-NOW that is a record to be proud of. I love the sport, the horses, the history-as for those that have other greedy agendas I have no use for them.
Chris Thigpen More than 1 year ago
If you have owned and evidently trained, because you say you saddled them also, which is the trainers job not the owner, for 29 years and only had one horse breakdown then you should be considered the luckiest person on earth. I have owned hundreds of saddle horses on my ranch and have more than a few breakdown from regular riding not even racing. They are animals with fragile legs, it happens to sound horses as well as overworked horses. I am not condoning the mistreatment of these animals but it sounds to me "Mr. John Smith" that you either have decided to just make stuff up or try and add more fuel to the fire after the latest film released by PETA.
RachelL More than 1 year ago
If I were a race horse owner, my thinking on the subject would be just like yours. I highly respect an owner like you, and wish more had your love for the hoses and their welfare. I really think Vagabond Shoes should have been pulled up. This should have not happened. If a horse is upset or off balance , the jockey has to put the horse first. I remember a horse I really liked named Riley Tucker, he seemed to have disappeared. Also Uncaptured, just hope they're both ok.
MauriceQuirin More than 1 year ago
Another sad story. RIP big warrior and run strong in heaven.
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
Always sad when an old warrior like this dies on the job.i hope this was just a case of bad luck and not another incident of abuse.i hope we dont find out later that this horse had no feet and should have been retired years ago.
Al Bowman More than 1 year ago
This is a real tragedy. I saw him pull up, but did not think it was that serious. I was shocked to see this. I am sure they would have tried to save him if they could. Just a terrible accident. He was a good old fashioned racehorse.
David Petkovsek More than 1 year ago
Has anyone watched the PETA clip on youtube.com exposing the Asmussen operation...makes me want to puke.
redboy More than 1 year ago
At the very least you got to see more of world in your 7 years than most people see in a lifetime . Rest in peace old man.