Most Unscathed in Charles Town Accident

One horse was euthanized after breaking down and causing a chain reaction.

One horse was euthanized at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races the evening of Feb. 29 but other horses and their jockeys escaped serious injuries in a nasty racing accident that led to cancellation of the remaining race on the program.

James Schlehr’s Sharp Beauty broke down on the lead just after the first quarter in the 4 1/2-furlong allowance race, triggering a chain reaction that left only one horse with a jockey. Long Shot Racing Stable’s Miss Fifty, who was along the rail, avoided the pile-up and was the only horse to finish the race in the field of eight (VIDEO).

Carlos Marrero, who rode Sharp Beauty, walked away from the accident as did Grant Whitacre, Mitchell Snow, Jose Montano, Katie Reynolds, and Clifford Dooley, Charles Town officials reported March 1. Jockey Anthony Mawing was taken to a local hospital where he remained under observation overnight.

Horsemen’s officials indicated a few of the jockeys did visit the hospital but were released.

“Everybody seems to be OK,” said Charles Town chief steward Danny Wright, a former jockey who visited the hospital after the accident. “Mawing remains in the hospital for observation and is reportedly in stable condition.”

The racing surface was sloppy, but Wright said the condition of the surface wasn’t a factor in the accident. “This was not an issue of the track condition causing an accident,” he said. “This was a horse breaking down during the race that unfortunately took the field with it.”

Though only one horse finished the race, the result was declared official after an inquiry. Stewards opted not to declare a no-contest, so Miss Fifty paid $5.60 to win and all exotic wagers were paid with “all” combinations.

In the previous race, an allowance optional claiming test at 1 1/8 miles, Marilyn McMullen’s Disclosure broke down on the final turn. The horse’s condition wasn’t immediately known.