Grade I-winning New York champion Giant Ryan, who fractured both left front sesamoids during the June 9 True North Handicap (gr. II), was euthanized five days later at New Bolton Center at the University of Pennsylvania due to complications from his injuries.
“It’s really sad. To the family, he meant everything,” said Bisnath Parboo June 14. Parboo trained Giant Ryan for his son, Shivananda Parbhoo. “He’s the best horse we’ve had for a long time. He took us everywhere we wanted to go. To lose him like this was really hard. We tried everything we could to save him.”
The decision to euthanize Giant Ryan, which was first reported by Daily Racing Form, was made by the Parbhoo family after learning the 6-year-old horse was showing signs of laminitis in one of his uninjured legs.
“He was using the good foot, and that’s the foot that came down with laminitis, so sometime this afternoon was when we had to make a decision,” said Parboo. “Even though we love him so much, we don’t want to see him suffer.”
Giant Ryan was injured taking a bad step while battling for the lead in the stretch run of the six-furlong True North that was won by Caixa Eletronica. Jockey Willie Martinez pulled him up in distress and quickly dismounted.
In 2011, Giant Ryan won the Vosburgh Invitational (gr. I) at Belmont Park, the Smile Sprint (gr. II) and Ponche handicaps at Calder Casino & Race Course, and the restricted Hamlet Stakes at Aqueduct Racetrack en route to being named New York’s Horse of the Year, champion sprinter, and turf horse.
In his only other start this year, Giant Ryan ran fifth after leading in the $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen (UAE-I) at Meydan Racecourse on World Cup night March 31.
Bred in the Empire State by Becky Thomas and Lewis Lakin, Giant Ryan had a record of 8-1-1 from 17 starts, for earnings of $686,841. He is by the top New York sire Freud and out of the Dayjur mare Kheyrah.