Jockey Bryan McNeil was taken to a local hospital and Mr. Smee ended up in one of the infield lakes after Saturday’s final race ... When the field of older horses entered the turn of the turf sprint, Mr. Smee appeared to be in distress. As he ducked in, McNeil fell off the side, and Mr. Smee ducked through the inside rail and then into the lake, where he died.
Regardless of the fact that Mr. Smee was racing for a $15,000 tag, he certainly deserves a better epitaph other than he was a lousy swimmer. The 5-year-old Texas-bred chestnut gelding was trained by Cheryl Asmussen and had bankrolled $109,756 over a 37 race career.
Oddly enough, I don't recall ever reading or hearing about an incident such as this. Why would a horse run into an infield lake? Granted, it was 100 degrees here yesterday, as well as an Warning Level Fuchsia Ozone Action Day, but into a lake?? And what of Mr. Smee's legacy? Will PETA demand the ban of hot summer days and infield lakes?
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram was proactive on this recent accident. On page 11c of the sports section, right next to Lone Star Park's highlights, insights, and selections for today's race card, was the following column,
Don't take safety for granted on next trip to lake