After a fatality-free summer racing meet at Del Mar, three horses broke down during Sunday's card on opening weekend at the seaside oval, resulting in at least two deaths.
First, ERJ Racing and Lerner Racing's Princess Dorian (Idiot Proof) was eased and pulled up nearing the stretch in the day's second race, an $8,000 claimer. According to Del Mar's official Twitter account, the 5-year-old mare, trained by Andrew Lerner, suffered an injury to her left front leg and was transported to San Luis Rey Equine Hospital for further care.
In the very next race, 3-year-old gelding Ghost Street (Ghostzapper) was pulled up out of a maiden special weight on the turf with a catastrophic injury to his left front sesamoid and was subsequently euthanized. “We are deeply sorry for owner Aaron Sones, trainer Patrick Gallagher, his staff and everyone who cared for him,” Del Mar wrote.
Then, in race six, Saratoga West's Prayer Warrior (Ministers Wild Cat) pulled up midway on the far turn of a California-bred allowance/optional claimer with a front leg injury. Trained by Jeff Metz, the sophomore colt was later put down, as reported by Metz's daughter, track photographer Zoe Metz.
“We unfortunately lost Prayer Warrior this afternoon,” Metz wrote on Twitter. “He was loved by everyone. The barn will definitely not be the same without him.”