Injuries Mar Record Day at Keeneland

Injuries--at least two of them fatal--marred a record slate of stakes races Saturday at Keeneland in which four horses earned automatic spots in the Breeders' Cup.

Teuflesberg, the 17th-place finisher in the Kentucky Derby, pulled up short in the Grade 3 Phoenix Handicap with sesamoid fractures. He was expected to have surgery early next week to fuse bones in his ankles, said veterinarian Alan Ruggles, DVM, Dipl. ACVS.

The ugliest injury of the day didn't happen on the track but in the paddock as Dream of Angels was being saddled for the Phoenix. The horse was euthanatized because of severe head trauma, severe bleeding, and cranial and spinal cord problems.

"It doesn't take a lot of force when you're a heavy animal to be injured severely,'' Ruggles said. "Around Keeneland, there's grass and there's rubber bricks to protect the horses. But it's like you and I, you just hit yourself in a certain way and just the force at a certain angle can cause dramatic damage.''

Gold Train also was euthanatized after pulling up lame with a fractured right foot just past the quarter-pole in the Lane's End Breeders' Futurity.

Tracks across the country have been looking into synthetic surfaces, in part to prevent catastrophic injuries, such as the one that doomed Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro in the 2006 Preakness. Keeneland was among the first to install Polytrack, and track officials said injuries were down last year.

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The Associated Press

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