SARATOGA SPRINGS -- The 3-year-old filly Lavender Road, entered in the seventh race at Saratoga Race Course today, collapsed near the clubhouse after being a late scratch.
After repeated attempts to get her on her feet and loaded onto a horse van, she was tranquilized and pulled onto the van on a mat and taken to nearby Rood and Riddle veterinary clinic. She was in stable condition shortly after arriving there.
Trainer Abby Adsit, a 2009 Union College graduate from Albany, said Lavender Road suffered heat stroke and some head trauma when she hit it on a padded railing after being scratched.
"When they have heatstroke, they have no control over themselves," Adsit said. "They're basically blacking out, then going up and down."
Jockey Junior Alvarado didn't like the way she was warming up, and after a veterinary exam, she was scratched. Before she could make it back to Adsit's barn, Lavender Road fell to her side at the point where the horse path comes onto the track from the paddock.
She came to, then bucked and fell again, hitting her head on a padded part of the rail.
She favored her right front leg every time she got back to her feet, but x-rays showed no broken bones, Adsit said. She tried 10 times to stay up before being administered a temporary tranquilizer in front of the At the Rail Pavilion.
"They wanted to give her every chance to get up, then we finally made the decision that enough was enough," Adsit said.
The start of the eighth race was delayed for an hour.