Giant Ryan euthanized
Grade 1 winner and reigning New York-bred Horse of the Year Giant Ryan was euthanized at the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center due to the onset of laminitis, Shivananda Parbhoo confirmed late Thursday afternoon. The 6-year-old son of Freud broke both sesamoid bones in his left front fetlock during the running of Saturday's Grade 2 True North Handicap at Belmont Park.
"The highs in this game are high, and the lows are low. This is the absolute bottom," the Calder-based owner said.
Giant Ryan was sent to New Bolton Center on Sunday and was expected to undergo a surgical fusion of the fetlock joint. That procedure was initially delayed as the injury to the horse had limited blood flow from the ankle down. According to Parbhoo, blood flow returned to the damaged limb as of Wednesday, and surgery was scheduled for Friday.
"Over the last few days he was eating and drinking just fine, and he seemed to be doing everything right," Parbhoo said.
"But earlier today we could see that things were getting a little shaky. He couldn't put any weight on the injured leg, so he was relying on his other legs to carry his body, and that is what brought on the laminitis.
"And once the signs of laminitis are present, the only option is to do the right thing for the horse, so he doesn't have to suffer. This horse gave us so much, we had to do what was right for him.
"My family and I are thankful to everyone that offered us their prayers and kind words. This is the first horse we've had break down, and it's just such a sad feeling, it isn't likely to go away."
Giant Ryan developed into one of the nation's leading sprinters last season, compiling a six-race winning streak capped by the Grade 2 Smile Sprint Handicap and the Grade 1 Vosburgh Invitational. He concluded the year with an eighth in the Breeders' Cup Sprint.
Shipped to Dubai for the Group 1 Golden Shaheen on March 31, Giant Ryan checked in fifth, his last start prior to the True North. His scorecard reads 17-8-1-1, $686,841.
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