A pall was cast over Thursday night's trials for the fillies division of the Texas Thoroughbred Association Sales Futurity at Lone Star when Gold Belle, one of the most promising 2-year-olds on the grounds, was euthanized after an accident prior to the fourth race.
Gold Belle dropped her rider in the post parade, and as she got loose the "lead strap" from the pony accompanying her hit her in the face. She ran toward the clubhouse turn, hit the rail near an open gap where horses come onto the track for the races, and was severely punctured. She was euthanized by the state veterinarian, according to stewards at Lone Star.
"It just was one of those freaky deals," her trainer, Bret Calhoun, said of the accident. "I thought she was about the best 2-year-old filly I had in the barn anywhere at this point."
Gold Belle showed a series of powerful works leading up to what would have been her debut. She is from the female line of Alysheba, the Hall of Famer raced by the family of her owner, Clarence Scharbauer. Gold Belle's fourth dam is Bel Sheba, who produced Alysheba.
The two trials Thursday were swept by daughters of Kentucky Derby winner Giacomo. Blushing Sis was up for a half-length win the first heat, while Lady Giacomo established herself as the favorite when she won her trial by five lengths. The finale is June 5.