2010 Derby Contender Devil May Care Succumbs to Cancer

Devil May Care, a starter in the 2010 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands, was euthanized May 4 after a confirmed diagnosis of lymphosarcoma, a form of cancer.

The filly's condition was recently confirmed by Johanna Reimer, VMD, Dipl. ACVIM, of Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky.

The 4-year-old mare, by Malibu Moon out of the Red Ransom mare Kelli's Ransom, won $724,000 at 2 and 3. Her victories included the Mother Goose Stakes, BetFair TVG Coaching Club American Oaks, Frizette Stakes, and the Bonnie Miss Stakes. Devil May Care finished 10th in last year's Kentucky Derby.

Purchased for $110,000 by John Greathouse at the 2008 Keeneland September yearling sale, Devil May Care was trained by Todd Pletcher.

According to Greathouse's Glencrest Farm, she will be cremated following a complete autopsy. Devil May Care was bred in Kentucky by Diamond A Racing Corporation.

Devil May Care had been a hopeful for last year's Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky, but her diagnosis with a non-contagious form of hepatitis last October forced her to skip the race. Since then, she had been on and off antibiotics and continued to carry an elevated liver enzyme count.

Greathouse said the filly had been hospitalized in Florida over the winter, where her condition had been monitored by veterinarians. The filly, who had also been treated for an inflamed bowel, was brought back to Glencrest this spring when she showed some slight improvements.

"When she got here, she looked good," said Greathouse, who added Devil May Care was on steroid medications he believed had kept the cancer at bay. Although she did put on some weight while in Kentucky the last few months, her hair began to deteriorate, and veterinarians at Rood & Riddle did more tests on the filly that ultimately detected the cancer.

"We went through a lot to keep her alive, and we were willing to walk that road with her, but it was a battle she was never going to win," said Greathouse.

About the Author

Esther Marr

Esther Marr is a staff writer for The Blood-Horse magazine.

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