With all the hoopla surrounding the scratch of I’ll Have Another in the Belmont Stakes ending his highly anticipated attempt at the Triple Crown, coupled with the exciting rail-skimming victory of Union Rags in that very race, the life-threatening injury sustained by Giant Ryan became somewhat of a footnote to the day.
Still, race fans and horse lovers have been faithfully following the plight of the 6-year old versatile sprinter who enjoyed a six-race winning streak and last year added the 2011 New York-bred Horse of the Year, champion older male, and champion male sprinter to his accolades.
USA Today reports from Belmont Park:
Jockey Willie Martinez was slowing the horse, Giant Ryan, when he fell to the dirt about 40 yards from the finish in the seventh race. Martinez hopped to his feet. The horse also regained his footing but was unable to put weight on his left leg.
Track workers brought out a black curtain and surrounded the horse, who was loaded into a van and taken from the track.
Attendees put Giant Ryan’s left leg in a splint to stabilize him so they could safely examine him. X-rays showed the veteran had sustained fractures of both left front sesamoids and ligament damage in the back of his left front ankle. Giant Ryan’s owner Shivananda Parbhoo decided to try to save his life to stand him at stud.
That is when it all began to unravel.
At first his connections had to wait, as there was no one immediately available to operate on the horse. But a surgeon was subsequently found, and Parbhoo shipped Giant Ryan to the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center late Sunday evening.
But now his surgery has been postponed to Thursday at the earliest.
The Daily Racing Form reports:
“As of now the operation has been delayed until they can improve the blood flow in Giant Ryan’s leg,” said Parbhoo, whose father, Bisnath Parboo, trains the horse. “The doctors said they need to break up some blood clots in the leg that are causing the problem. They are treating Ryan with medication and are hoping the issue can be resolved within the next two days.”
Please say a prayer that God’s will be done for this valiant and talented horse.
UPDATE: Giant Ryan was euthanized Thursday, June 14, 2012, the date his surgery was postponed to.