Filly euthanized, jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. unseated in racing incident at Saratoga

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (AP) — A 4-year-old filly broke down in the fourth race at Saratoga and was euthanized on Sunday, the second consecutive day a racing death occurred at the track in upstate New York.

Ever Summer sustained a catastrophic injury to her left front leg in the final turn of the turf race and was euthanized, according to the New York Racing Association. Irad Ortiz Jr., the leading rider at the summer meet, was unseated. He was later cleared to ride the rest of the card.

Frivole, a 4-year-old filly, was pulled up early in the same race. Trainer Graham Motion told the Daily Racing Form that Franco made the move “out of an abundance of caution” after she took an odd step. Motion said Frivole returned to her stall.

Ever Summer passed the required pre-race veterinary inspection, according to NYRA.

NYRA officials moved the final three turf races on Sunday’s card to the main dirt track after consulting with the jockeys, who expressed concern with the overall condition of the courses following heavy rains last week

NYRA said it will evaluate both turf courses over the next two days and will adjust the temporary rail positions when racing resumes Wednesday.

Results of Ever Summer’s required necropsy will be analyzed by Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority officials, as well as the New York State equine medical director. NYRA, HISA and the New York State Gaming Commission also will review the incident.

Trained by Christophe Clement, Ever Summer had two wins in eight career starts and earnings of $144,670, according to Equibase. She was bred and owned by Brereton C. Jones, the 84-year-old former governor of Kentucky.

Also Sunday, trainer Brendan Walsh brought the winner’s floral blanket from the $500,000 Test to the barn of Melanie Giddings, whose filly, Maple Leaf Mel, was leading Saturday’s race when she broke down just before the wire. Maple Leaf Mel injured her right front leg and was euthanized.

“It was the right thing to do and we feel terrible for them,” said Walsh, whose Pretty Mischievous won the race.

Walsh and owner Godolphin didn’t bring Pretty Mischievous to the winner’s circle for the trophy presentation after the race.

Maple Leaf Mel’s jockey Joel Rosario took off his mounts Sunday. He was body sore after being unseated and required stitches to his lip.