He was a 3-year-old with so much talent, and so much promise, but hampered by health issues from the start of his short racing career.
Geaux Rocket Ride, winner of the Haskell (G1) in July and a top Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) contender was euthanized on Wednesday (Nov. 1), five days after sustaining a condylar fracture and ligament damage in his right front leg during a morning workout.
Surgery was performed the following day (Oct. 29) at a clinic at Santa Anita, but the 3-year-old colt was unable to recover.
“It is with very heavy hearts that we report that, at the recommendation of his medical team, Geaux Rocket Ride has finally reached peace,” read a statement from Pin Oak Stud, owned by Jim and Dana Bernhard. “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.”
Trained by Hall of Famer Richard Mandella, Geaux Rocket Ride did not race as a 2-year-old but won in his 3-year-old debut before finishing second in the San Felipe (G3). He missed the Santa Anita Derby (G1) and Triple Crown races with spikes in his temperature and white-cell count, according to Mandella, but recovered to win the Affirmed Stakes in June, and then the Haskell (G1) — beating Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Mage — in July.
He didn’t race again until finishing second by a neck to Arabian Knight in the Pacific Classic (G1) on Sept. 2.
The injury occurred during a Saturday workout when Geaux Rocket Ride appeared to stumble in mid-stretch. Jockey Mike Smith pulled up the colt, dismounted, and held the damaged leg until medical help arrived.
“The immense effort that went into Geaux Rocket Ride’s medical care following Saturday’s injury is a testament to his team’s deep commitment to his wellbeing,’’ the Breeders’ Cup said in a statement. “Our thoughts are with Pin Oak Stud, Richard Mandella, and everyone affected by his loss.”
Geaux Rocket Ride ran five times, with three victories and two second-place finishes.
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