Chasing Aces, who broke a 52-year-old Del Mar track record for five furlongs in his second career start, was euthanized after pulling up into the stretch run of Monday's Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity.
Ridden by Tyler Baze for trainer Peter Miller, the 2-year-old chestnut colt by Flatter broke from the rail post position in the seven-furlong Futurity but then ducked inwardly as the field left the chute and reached the main track. He record and battled for the lead between horses, then “took an awkward step leaving the turn,” according to the Equibase chart.
Miller told Daily Racing Form the colt suffered a slab fracture to his left knee, most likely when he ducked in.
“The knee slabbed and collapsed. The vets said they hadn't seen anything like that in years,” Miller told Daily Racing Form. “The humane thing to do was put him down. I'm heartbroken, devastated.”
Chasing Aces, the third betting choice behind Futurity runner-up Straight Fire and winner Klimt, was carrying the colors of Earle Mack for the first time. Mack and Wachtel Stable bought a controlling interest from Gary Hartunian's Rockingham Ranch after his record setting maiden win July 17 when he ran five furlongs in :56.21, beating Straight Fire by 5 ¼ lengths.
Hartunian acquired Chasing Aces at the Barretts March select sale of 2-year-olds in training for $225,000 from Eddie Woods, agent. He had previously sold for $40,000 as a weanling at the Keeneland November breeding stock sale and again at the Keeneland September yearling sale for $65,000.
Chasing Aces, produced from the Mt. Livermore mare, Endless Sea, was bred in Kentucky by Barry and Jan Butzer's Sun Valley Farm.
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