May 24, 2024

Geaux Rocket Ride, winner of the Haskell Stakes and one of the favorites for the Breeders’ Cup Classic, was euthanized Wednesday, four days after he suffered a catastrophic injury to his right front leg during a workout. The news was confirmed by the horse’s owners Pin Oak Stud.

The 3-year-old colt suffered what was described as an “open condylar fracture with intersesmoidian ligament damage,” according to the Breeders’ Cup. Open meant the bone has broken through the skin.

“It is with very heavy hearts that we report that, at the recommendation of the medical team, Geaux Rocket Ride has finally reached peace,” Pin Oak Stud said on X (formerly Twitter). “His mind and his spirit never quit, but his body never recovered from surgery. He had a very rare response post-op and he wasn’t able to stand up again. He fought hard and our team of vets tried everything they could.”

Dr. Ryan Carpenter, one of the top equine surgeons in the country, performed an arthrodesis procedure on the horse Sunday. The procedure, which was used on Eclipse Award winning filly Echo Zulu on Oct. 14, fuses the bones together so that they are rigid. Her recovery is going according to plan.

The initial response after surgery was troubling and Dr. Larry Bramlage, who was a pioneer in arthrodesis surgery, was brought in from Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky. and examined the horse on Wednesday afternoon when the decision to euthanize was made.

Geaux Rocket Ride, trained by Richard Mandella and ridden by Mike Smith, was the second horse to die in the lead up to the Breeders’ Cup on Friday and Saturday. On Tuesday, Practical Move died after a jog.

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