07/15/2013 11:02AM

Woodbine: Strait of Dover euthanized after colic surgery

Michael Burns
Strait of Dover, the winner of last year's Queen's Plate, was euthanized at age 4 on Sunday after having colic surgery last week.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Strait of Dover, the winner of last year’s Queen’s Plate and a Sovereign Award as Canada’s champion 3-year-old male of 2012, was euthanized Sunday evening at the nearby Milton Equine Hospital after having colic surgery last week.

Strait of Dover, bred in British Columbia by the Canyon Farm of Wally and Terri Leong, had made his first two career starts at Hastings but then was sent here to trainer Danny Vella.

“Last Thursday, he had colic surgery,” Vella said. “It looked very good for a couple of days, and then he went downhill just in the last two days.”

Strait of Dover had disliked the dirt surface in Vancouver but was a different horse here on Polytrack, finishing first in all five of his starts, although he was disqualified from the win in his local debut. The colt got his first stakes win in the 1 1/16-mile Marine Stakes and followed with a win in the Queen’s Plate.

After the Queen’s Plate, Strait of Dover was pointing for Woodbine’s Breeders’ Stakes but was derailed by suspensory-related issues and was sent to the farm. Returning to Vella here this March, Strait of Dover had been winding up for a return to racing when he again was sidelined with a leg injury. He was expected to return to action next year.

“It was such a great story, with the B.C. thing, and Wally and Terri – they’re just wonderful people,” Vella said. “Not only was he a very talented horse, he had a lot of character. You just don’t get that many horses with that kind of ability and character. He was fun to be around.”

Strait of Dover won four of seven starts and earned $749,628.