Quantum Racing Team #1’s Mambo Meister, a popular horse in South Florida who won three grade III stakes, was euthanized April 9 after suffering an injury while training at Calder Casino & Race Course in Miami Gardens, Fla.
“He took a misstep, and it was just a freak thing,” said Phil Gleaves, who trained the 7-year-old gelding in all 42 of his starts.
Mambo Meister remained on his feet, and was taken to Gleaves’ barn at Calder.
The son of King Cugatout of the Desert Secret mare Bleu’slittlesecret was found to have fractured his right hind cannon bone. The X-rays also showed a shattered ankle and a shattered pastern in that leg.
“He had not shown any physical problems, and had been training as good as ever,” Gleaves said. “This was very hard for me and the owners. Mambo Meister was like family to us.. He also was very popular with the fans in South Florida. He won races, and he always tried hard.”
Mambo Meister was bred in Kentucky by J.R. Cavanaugh, who is one of eight members of the group that owned the horse.
Mambo Meister had career earnings of $703,725 with a record of 11 wins, nine second-place finishes, and six third-place finishes.
All of his victories were at Calder, where he finished in the money in 22 of 24 starts. His graded wins at Calder came in the 2009 Spend A Buck Handicap (gr. III), the 2010 Miami Mile (gr. IIIT), and the 2010 Memorial Day Handicap (gr. III). Manoel Cruz rode him in all of those races.
Not surprisingly, that record earned him a large fan base and he was known to some as “the King of Calder.”
Mambo Meister also finished second in six graded stakes, including the Smile Sprint Handicap (gr. II) at Calder and the Fourstardave Handicap (gr. II) at Saratoga. He had two third place-finishes in graded stakes.
Several of Mambo Meister’s owners live in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area. A large contingent of friends always joined them when the horse raced at Calder or Gulfstream Park Racetrack & Casino.
“Losing Mambo Meister is very sad for Calder,” said John Marshall, the track’s vice president and general manager of racing.
He said Calder plans to name a stakes race for Mambo Meister, probably beginning this year.