Owner Files Suit Over Racehorse's Catastrophic Injury

Owner Jacob Haddad claims negligence on the part of the New York Racing Association (NYRA) led to the catastrophic injury of his Thoroughbred, Salsa Mambo, during a July 15, 2012 race at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y.

Haddad has filed a lawsuit against NYRA in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of Queens, seeking $500,000 and other damages to be determined at trial. A NYRA representative declined to comment on the lawsuit.

In the lawsuit, Haddad questions the actions of outriders after Salsa Mambo stumbled badly at the start of a 1 1/16-mile allowance-optional claiming race on the inner turf course at Belmont Park. Salsa Mambo, without a rider, followed the field around throughout the race.

The suit says an outrider acted irresponsibly by attempting to catch Salsa Mambo after the race concluded, causing her to dart to the outside where she jumped a bush, crashed into a rail, and stepped on at least one protrusion, likely a sprinkler head. Salsa Mambo fractured her left front leg and was euthanized.

Haddad also claims that because the outer rail of the inner turf course did not continue through the final stretch of the course, it left an area between the inner turf course and outer course unprotected by a safety rail. The suit said this area includes protruding sprinkler heads that were accessible to racehorses traversing the inner course.

The suit was filed on Haddad's behalf by Drew Mollica.

About the Author

Frank Angst

Frank Angst is a staff writer for The Blood-Horse magazine. An American Horse Publications three-time winner in best news story category, Angst has covered horse racing for more than a decade. Angst spent ten years at Thoroughbred Times, where he earned awards as that magazine’s senior writer and helped launch Thoroughbred Times TODAY. Besides covering horse racing, Angst enjoys handicapping. Angst has written about sports for more than 20 years, including several seasons covering a nationally ranked Marshall Thundering Herd football team.

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