Dance With Fate, winner of the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland last spring, was euthanized Thursday after severely tearing ligaments in his right hind leg during a training accident at Del Mar earlier in the morning.
Dance With Fate was on the track about 5:30 a.m. nearing the far turn when he suddenly bolted to the outside fence and crashed into it, falling hard and losing exercise rider Joe Duran. Trainer Peter Eurton told Del Mar's publicity team they sent X-rays of Dance With Fate's injuries to noted equine orthopedic surgeon Dr. C. Wayne McIlwraith for evaluation, but Eurton later posted on his Twitter account that they were unable to save the colt.
"Words can't express what we're feeling right now," Eurton posted. "With an extremely heavy heart we report Dance With Fate was unable to survive his injuries. Thank you for all of the support during a rough time like this. The joy he gave us will never be forgotten."
The colt was owned by Sharon Alesia, Bran Jam Stable and Ciaglia Racing.
Duran was taken by ambulance to Scripps La Jolla Hospital. Eurton later posted that Duran's wife, Janice, said he had suffered fractures in his spine and ribs and would undergo surgery Friday.
"I don't know exactly how it happened or why," Eurton said of the accident.
Dance With Fate, a son of Two Step Salsa, was at the California track preparing to race Saturday as the likely favorite against older horses in the San Diego Handicap. He had been in training at Santa Anita and Del Mar since having to miss the $1.25 million Belmont Derby on July 5 at Belmont Park in New York after a bout of colic the night before the race.
Dance With Fate rallied from 11th in the 14-horse field to win the Blue Grass Stakes by 13/4 lengths over Medal Count on April 12. It was the first graded stakes victory for the colt, though he had run second in both the Grade I Del Mar Futurity and Grade I FrontRunner Stakes during his 2-year-old season.
While dirt was not his preferred surface, Dance With Fate went on to run a strong sixth behind California Chrome in the Kentucky Derby. In nine career starts, the dark bay colt had three wins and won $680,050.
"Dance With Fate will be missed more than words can express but he will never be forgotten," Britney Eurton, daughter of Peter Eurton, posted on her Twitter account.