Grazen, with jockey Garrett Gomez aboard, sustained a serious injury Saturday during the 6th race at Santa Anita’s Oak Tree California Cup Classic. Initially, the horse was leading in the stretch of the $200,000 race. The injury stunned race fans when they initially though the horse had a broken leg. As the track veterinarian and officials rushed to the horse’s aide, race fans gasped as they assessed the injuries. It turns out that the 3-year-old horse will not be euthanised after all but certainly will not race again.
Also during the same race, the long-shot Blackbriar broke a bone and was subsequently euthanized.
The injuries were a sad day for racing at Oak Tree meeting. Attendance of 17,576 was the smallest in the event’s 20-year history and was down by more than 3,000 from last year.
Grazen led all the way in the 1 1-8 mile race until jockey Garrett Gomez pulled the 3-year-old gray colt up past the eighth pole, allowing Bold Chieftain to come from behind and win by 1½ lengths at Santa Anita.
According the AP, Grazen injured his right front tendon; with trainer Mike Mitchell saying it appeared he tore it.
“We won’t have to put him down,” he said. “We’ll put a good support on him and he should be OK. He’ll never run again.”
Blackbriar ridden by jockey Brice Blanc broke the sesamoid bone in his right front leg and was euthanized.
More questions than answers were posed after the race, and the biggest question of all is what role, if any, did the synthetic track have on the fate of these two horses?