NEW YORK (AP) - Giant Ryan, a 6-year-old horse who was injured on the Belmont Stakes undercard, was euthanized after developing the same disease that led to the death of 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro.
The horse was battling for the lead in the True North Handicap on June 9 when he crumpled with sesamoid fractures in his left front ankle before thousands of fans in the grandstand. Giant Ryan then was stricken with laminitis, a disease marked by inflammation in the hoof, Belmont Park said Friday.
Giant Ryan was sent to the New Bolton Center at the University of Pennsylvania on Monday and scheduled for surgery that never happened. Belmont Park said he was euthanized Thursday.
The surgery couldn't be done right away because Giant Ryan had a blood clot, owner Shivananda Parbhoo said. The horse was treated and the clot went away, but by Thursday laminitis had begun to set in. Parbhoo said the decision to put the horse down was made so he wouldn't suffer.
``He was happy until the end,'' Parbhoo said. ``He was eating and drinking, but there was nothing more to do.''
Giant Ryan won eight times in 17 starts, earning $686,841. He won the Grade 1 Vosburgh Invitational at Belmont last fall. He was trained by Parbhoo's father, Bisnath Parboo.
``It was very sad and very hard,'' Parbhoo said.