Del Mar's summer meet has started of sadly, with 5 horses down in the first 7 days of the season. Thursday morning began with heartbreak as Kentucky Derby contender Dance With Fate was euthanized after a serious injury during his morning workout. Still no word on the condition of his exercise rider, Joe Durant, who suffered fractures to his spine and ribs and was to undergo surgery yesterday.
During Friday's program we saw several incidents that shook up the crowd. In the first race, favorite Delaney's Joy with Elvis Trujillo aboard was clipped on the far turn, unseating his jockey. Thankfully both horse and jock were OK, and Elvis took the remainder of his mounts for the day, finishing the day with wins in the 7th and 8th races.
Yes She's Unusual and Longview Drive were not as fortunate. In the 6th race the 4 year old filly broke down and in the 7th race the 5 year old colt broke his leg. Both horses were euthanized. The jockeys were OK. Thankfully.
The highlight of my day was tagging along with my friend, trainer Julio Canani, to photograph Fantastic Mizz and he got ready for the 5th race. Owner Tom Metzger's family was with him in the paddock area to wish everyone good luck, while I got a great shot of my favorite thing about racing - the trainer giving his jockey a leg up. Julio and Joe Talamo gave me a nice shot. Too bad their horse ran 6th due to getting boxed in with no opening to run out. Better next time.