In the 11th at Parx September 23, 3-year-old Irap finished second. After the race, however, the colt was “vanned off” for an undisclosed reason. But this was no ordinary race, and no ordinary horse. The 11th that day was the Grade 1 “Pennsylvania Derby”; in placing, Irap won his people a cool $190,000. In fact, in 13 “career starts” Irap had amassed over $1.6 million in “earnings” – or about $128,000 per outing. In other words, if they could move this horse, extraordinary measures would be taken (if not to race again then, at the very least, for big-money stud) – measures, it seems, that more often than not fail. They were (taken); they did (fail).
Irap’s injury was a pair of fractured sesamoids – an injury that would have been fatal right then and there to the vast majority of racehorses running on American tracks. But again, pedestrian Irap was not. So, they “fused his ankle” and inserted metal plates. Then things went bad. His owner, Paul Reddam, in BloodHorse:
“Three days after the surgery he got a fever and subsequent infection at the operation site. He was doing better the last week and a half but last night they discovered rotation in the opposite (right) foot.” Death (via euthanasia) yesterday. Death after, in all likelihood, an extended suffering. How profoundly sad.
(A postscript: Irap’s story began in tragedy. BloodHorse: “Irap was the final foal out of Aaron and Marie Jones’ top producer Silken Cat, as the Storm Cat mare hemorrhaged during his birth.” His “top producer” mother died a few months later.)