Dual grade I-winning millionaire Laughing, a finalist for the 2013 Eclipse Award as the nation's outstanding female turf performer, died from colic Jan. 7 at Mid Atlantic Equine Clinic in Ringoes, N.J.
Trained by Alan Goldberg for Richard Santulli, the 6-year-old mare fell ill the evening of Jan. 6. According to Dr. Allan Wise, resident veterinarian for Santulli's Colts Neck Farm, her condition was "extremely painful."
"She went to surgery about 4 a.m. (Jan. 7) and expired on the table," Wise said. "She had been pretty healthy up until now. She had some issues like all horses do, but she was healthy enough to win four graded stakes. It's really tough for the boss and all of us."
Wise said Santulli had planned to campaign Laughing through this year, and then retire her from racing to become a broodmare.
"She made it easy to get up and go to work in the morning," Wise said. "She was as game as they come and a real nice horse to be around. She didn't do one thing wrong and was an interesting animal.
"She would nicker for mints and had a real great personality. You always lose the good ones."
An Irish-bred daughter of Dansili, Laughing was purchased for 275,000 guineas ($459,488 in U.S. funds) by Charles O'Brien at the 2009 Tattersalls October yearling sale from Floors Stud, agent.
After making her first four starts in her native country, Laughing was sent to North America, where she captured the 2013 Flower Bowl Invitational and Diana (both gr. IT). She also recorded victories in the 2013 Ketel One Ballston Spa (gr. IIT) and Eatontown Handicap (gr. IIT), plus the 2012 Taylor Made Matchmaker Stakes (gr. IIIT).
Bred by Floors Farming and the Duke of Devonshire, Laughing was out of the Be My Chief mare Comic and is a half sister to group I winner Comic Strip. She compiled a career record of 8-2-2 from 16 starts for earnings of $1,178,855.