Saturday, October 1, 2011

Banned loses his battle

Banned winning the Del Mar Derby
Credit:  Benoit Photo
In spite of valiant efforts to save him, Del Mar Derby winner Banned was euthanized today as a result of complications from surgery to repair both sesamoids in his right front ankle, which were shattered as he pulled up from an easy half-mile workout on the Santa Anita turf on September 22nd.

Conditioned by Tom Proctor, the three-year-old Glen Hill Farm colorbearer was never out of the money this year, having won or placed in all six of his sophomore starts, including victories in the grassy Jefferson Cup-G2 and American Turf Stakes-G3 at Churchill Downs.  He lost a neck decision to Air Support in the Virginia Derby in July, and was third in Treasure Beach's Secretariat-G1 at a mile and a quarter in August.

In his most recent start, Banned captured the tragedy-marred Grade II Del Mar Derby on Labor Day weekend, eeking out a photo finish against Midnight Interlude after launching a powerful stretch rally.  That race claimed the life of Burns, who suffered a catastrophic breakdown near the first turn and was later euthanized as a result of injuries that were similar to those that ultimately led to Banned's demise.

The news of Banned death was initially reported this afternoon by Glen Hill President Craig Bernick, who said, through his Twitter account:  "Heavy hearted to report that Banned didn't make it.  He ended up foundering in his good foot this morning, and we did what's right for him."

The second leading money-winning son of Champion Turf Horse and top third-crop sire, Kitten's Joy (by El Prado), Banned was the first foal of his dam, the winning Capote mare Cardinalli, to make it to the races.  Her first foal, a 2007 full brother to Banned, died as a yearling.  Bred by Ken and Sarah Ramsey, who raced Kitten's Joy, Banned was purchased by Glen Hill for $130,000 at the 2009 Fasig-Tipton October Yearling sale.

Barely a year later, he broke his maiden at a mile and a sixteenth on the turf at Belmont in his second start at two, after a lacklustre debut on the dirt at Saratoga.  He went on to romp by five lengths in a mile allowance test at Keeneland last October, before being put away for the year.  A model of consistency, Banned won five races and placed three times in 10 starts, while banking $599,576.  He was truly a turf star in the making.

According to Bernick, Banned will be buried at Glen Hill Farm in Ocala.