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NY Post
New York Post
5 Aug 2023


NextImg:Maple Leaf Mel, a Bill Parcells-owned horse euthanized after fall at Saratoga race

A Bill Parcells-owned horse, Maple Leaf Mel, broke down just short of the finish line during Saturday’s $500,000 Test at Saratoga and had to be euthanized, according to the Associated Press.

The horse suffered a “catastrophic” injury to its right leg in the final 70 yards of the race, the New York Racing Association said.

The jockey, Joel Rosario, was thrown to the ground and was taken to an Albany hospital after suffering facial abrasions, the AP reported.

Tyler Gaffalione, jockey of winning horse Pretty Mischievous said they feel terrible about the incident, per the AP.

“I feel so bad for the connections of Mel. It’s hard to enjoy this one thinking about that. My condolences go out to their team. Hopefully they’re able to get through this and God bless them,” Gaffalione said.

According to Daily Racing Forum, Parcells was at the track with friends and family but didn’t comment other than to thank those who offered their condolences. 

Maple Leaf Mel with Joel Rosario up (6) leads Topay with Tyler Gaffalione up (5) into turn one of the Miss Preakness S. Presented by Case Tractor at Pimlico Race Course in May.
USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

Bill Parcells was reportedly at the track when the incident happened.

Bill Parcells was reportedly at the track when the incident happened.
Noah K. Murray-NY Post

Maple Leaf Mel’s death continues a trend of disturbing horse racing-related deaths this year. 

In June, two horses — Excursionniste and Mashnee Girl — were euthanized after suffering injuries at Belmont Park.

During the same month, Churchill Downs suspended racing operations following a month where 12 horses died at the home of the Kentucky Derby.