Over the next several days, we will be writing about the death of Medina Spirit. Let’s start with his breeder.
Gail Rice, the breeder who helped Medina Spirit’s mother as she struggled to give birth to him three years ago, had trouble accepting that the Kentucky Derby winner collapsed and died of an apparent heart attack Monday while training at the Santa Anita track in California.
Note the words apparent heart attack.
“It was like no, you’re kidding me…this can’t be,” said Rice. “It doesn’t really sink in right away. You think this can’t be true. And then you start crying.”
But as upset as she is over the champion’s sudden passing, Rice is outraged that critics are now using his death as proof that the sport is inhumane and should be cancelled.
Medina Spirit died December 6th after completing a workout at Santa Anita. He was pronounced dead on the track, meaning no euthanasia and a classification of sudden death. The majority of sudden deaths are heart-related, reports the Los Angeles Times.
About Medina Spirit
Foaled: April 5, 2018
Died: December 6, 2021
Owner: Zedan Racing Stables (Amr Zedan)
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Breeder: Gail Rice
Record: 10: 5–4–1
Image Credit: Medina Spirit surveys the crowds at Churchill Downs one week before his Kentucky Derby victory. Pat McDonogh/Courier Journal.
Official Blog of the Fund for Horses
Medina Spirit’s death puts spotlight on racehorse fatalities, Washington Post, By Chuck Culpepper and Gus Garcia-Roberts, Dec. 28, 2021.