Filly in Training at Racetrack Gives Birth

Owners are seldom at a loss for words but when Marvin and Joel Cunningham were informed that their 2-year-old homebred filly Tiger Eyed had given birth they were speechless.

The foaling occurred Aug. 20 on the backstretch at Harrah's Louisiana Downs racetrack near Bossier City, La. At 5 a.m., trainer Patrick Mouton pulled up to Barn 33-C in his truck and was concerned at the large crowd assembled.

"I parked my truck and saw there was a lot of people down at the end of the shed row," Mouton said. "In this business, when you see something like that it usually means somebody got hurt."

Tiger Eyed and foal

Tiger Eyed and foal

What looked like by-standers around a car wreck was actually an assembly of astonished grooms, trainers, exercise riders, and jockeys that had come to witness the wild story that was circulating. Tiger Eyed (a 2-year-old Louisiana-bred filly that had just worked three furlongs in :36 2/5 earlier in the week) had a foal by her side.

"She was just in the early stages of beginning training and starting to breeze," Mouton explained. "I was completely flabbergasted."

It is a story that definitely has more questions than answers. Mouton went on to describe the surprise and displeasure of the owners.

"Do the math," the veteran trainer said. "This had to happen in some pasture when she was only seven to eight months old. There must have been a colt in the mix somewhere or somebody jumped the fence."

Tiger Eyed and her foal have been shipped to a local farm where a surrogate nurse mare will provide nourishment for the newborn.

"Obviously the track is not a good environment plus the mother is still a baby herself," Mouton said of the decision.

According to Mouton, the plan for Tiger Eyed is to resume training at the racetrack in early September.

(Originally published at  

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Gary McMillen

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