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Sky Art Euthanized

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Published: March 26, 2009 4:49 pm ET

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On March 6 at Woodbine Racetrack, in the first leg of the Apaches Fame Pacing Series, driver Jody Jamieson was forced to pull his mount, Sky Art, up. Woodbine Entertainment Group racing analyst Mike Hamilton, part of the ownership group Count Eleven Stable, has announced that the gelding had to be euthanized.

Hamilton got the news of the three-year-old's injury while on a well-deserved vacation. Sky Art had suffered a very serious fracture of a p1 (pastern) bone. The prognosis grew dimmer as more analysis of the break was taken. After conferring with veterinarians and surgeons, the very tough decision was made to have the promising Modern Art gelding put down.

The injury and ultimate euthanization can truly be looked at as a tragedy -- Sky Art looked to be coming into his own. Prior to the opening leg of the Apaches Fame, Sky Art had put in six pari-mutuel starts on the season, winning twice and hitting the board in two other occasions. Sky Art's start prior to the Apaches Fame was an impressive, mark-lowering mile in which he came from off the pace to earn a 1:55.4 neck victory.

"The fact that 'Art' would almost certainly never race again wasn’t an issue," explained Hamilton. "As racehorse owners we are responsible for the lives of these majestic yet vulnerable animals. Does an owner have the right to put a horse through surgery, several months in a cast, a long period of stall rest, a host of potential complications (arthritis, laminitis, etc.) and a steadily deteriorating quality of life just so that he may say that he 'saved' a horse?

"To be honest, I hadn’t given that question much thought prior to the early morning hours of March 7. But after hearing the quiver in the surgeon’s voice as she described the nature of Art’s condition and the odds of his survival and recovery, not to mention the muffled sobs of several owners who were on the other end of the phone, I knew in my heart there was only one option."

(With files from WEG)


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