Belmont Park was the victim of a Barn fire that ended up taking the lives of two horses. The fire occurred in Barn 60, and a total of 58 horses were quickly brought to safety, preventing an absolute disaster. The two horses that perished were American Sailor and Beastie D. American Sailor was coming off a most recent win last year at the Troy Stakes. Throughout his career, American Sailor started in 45 races, winning 15, taking in a total of $568,264 winnings. American Sailor was an eight-year-old horse.

The other horse that perished due to the Barn fire was Beastie D, a three-year-old horse that was yet to compete. Beastie D most recently was training at Belmont Park on a dirt course. These two horses were both trained by Wayne Potts. This fire could have taken the lives of many other horses, but in part, to the quick response from first responders, a major tragedy was avoided.

NYRA president and CEO comments

Recently there was good news at Belmont Park as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced spectators could begin going to Belmont Park operating at 20 percent capacity on April 23. Shortly after, a Barn fire took the lives of two horses.

“The tragic loss of both horses will be deeply felt by the hard-working women and men of the New York racing community, who dedicate themselves to the sport and to the care of these equine athletes,” said Dave O’Rourke, NYRA president and chief executive.

Without a doubt, the events that took place were unavoidable, and people needed to spring into action quickly.

“That collective dedication and sense of community was on display this evening when the heroic and selfless response of so many prevented further loss and saved the lives of dozens of horses,” said O’Rourke.

Trainer Wayne Potts expresses gratitude

Trainer Wayne Potts lost two horses that night, but without the help of many different people, including the Elmont Fire Department, this number could have been much higher.

“Thank you from the bottom of my heart to every single one of you that put yourselves at risk to make sure 58 horses can see another day,” said Potts.

Everyone involved with the situation displayed their love for horses and refused to go down without getting as many horses out of the Barn as possible.

“The actions of so many this evening proved that this industry is a family with a fierce love of the horse that triumphs over anything else,” said Potts.