Sunday, April 19, 2009

Mishap claims Two Horses at Finger Lakes track

Tin Cup Chalice

Kevin Oklobzija • Staff writer • April 18, 2009

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Tin Cup Chalice killed in training
Race horse with North Country ties killed in freak accident
Published April 18, 2009 12:04 am - Champion race horse was raised in Ray
Brook by co-owners.


ROCHESTER, NY (AP) — Tin Cup Chalice, a champion race horse raised in Ray
Brook, was killed Friday in a freak training accident at Finger Lakes

Tin Cup Chalice, a 4-year-old gelding, was owned by trainer Mike Lecesse
of Farmington and Ray Brook residents Scott Van Laer, a forest ranger, and
Michale Glennon, a Wildlife Conservation Society biologist. He was raised on
the couple's Glen Laer farm in Ray Brook.

Tin Cup Chalice was jogging near the outside fence at the track in
Farmington, 25 miles southeast of Rochester, when he collided with Zany, a
4-year-old colt that had bolted.

Jockey Pedro Rodriguez was treated at a Rochester hospital for undisclosed
injuries and released. Both horses were destroyed. Tin Cup Chalice
sustained a catastrophic spinal injury, a veterinarian said.

"It's like losing a best friend, a brother," Lecesse told the Rochester
Democrat and Chronicle.

Tin Cup Chalice was named the 2008 New York-bred champion 3-year-old male
last Monday. Tin Cup Chalice also was chosen 2008 Horse of the Year at
Finger Lakes after earning $827,280.

Tin Cup Chalice last year became the first horse to sweep the Big Apple
Triple for New York breds. He captured the Mike Lee Handicap at Belmont Park,
the New York Derby at Finger Lakes and the $150,000 Albany Stakes at
Saratoga Race Course. The sweep earned his owners a $250,000 bonus.

He was being pointed to a stakes race at Mountaineer Park May 10.

Tin Cup Chalice overcame two near-death experiences as a foal and a

According to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the collision occurred
at about 6:20 a.m. Friday. Tin Cup Chalice was galloping in a clockwise
direction, or the opposite way horses race in North America. He was on the
outside fence, which is where horses training in an opposite direction always

Zany was participating in a full-speed workout and bolted as he came off
the turn at the top of the stretch. The horses collided about halfway down
the stretch.

Tin Cup Chalice was eastbound and the rising sun played a factor.

"Pedro (Rodriguez) said he didn't even see the horse," track veterinarian
Bob Tugel said. "Five minutes before or five minutes after, he wouldn't
have been blinded (because the sun would have been at a different angle)."

Track veterinarians worked more than 90 minutes on Tin Cup Chalice before
it became apparent the injuries were catastrophic.

Lecesse said the horse was insured.

Ironically, Tin Cup Chalice was scheduled to make his season debut Friday
at Finger Lakes, but the race didn't fill.

"If he would have been in today, he wouldn't haven been on the track this
morning," said Lecesse, who added, "it's nobody's fault."

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