Mission fulfilled but tragic end for gallant gelding

Jet Prospector, a fighter on the track against his
rivals and in retirement against various health problems, was euthanized in
early January because of severe laminitis. Laminitis, a painful ailment in which
the soft tissue in the hoof becomes inflamed sometimes causing the bone to
rotate, is the same foot ailment that claimed the life of Kentucky Derby winner

A remarkably consistent gelding, Jet Prospector won
13 of 36 starts and earned an impressive $335,575. In his prime, he finished
third in a Grade 3 stakes at Churchill Downs and later became a reliable
claimer primarily on the East Coast. His previous trainers include Exceller
Fund President Gary Contessa.

“This is a sad day for the Exceller Fund,” said
Executive Director Nicole Smith. “But I believe Jet Prospector is in a better
place where he can finally run without pain. His health was declining and when
he was unable to walk with his pasture mates, we made the difficult decision to
put him to sleep.”

Smith said the gelding’s death was particularly hard
on his foster care providers, Tom Jones and Lisa Summers, who nursed him
through many setbacks at their Bagdad, Kentucky

“Although this is a tragic end, the Exceller Fund
fulfilled its mission of ‘providing a future beyond the finish line’ for Jet
Prospector,” Smith said. “He had a wonderful life under the Exceller Fund umbrella
and died peacefully with dignity. I hope people will continue donating to the
Exceller Fund so we can continue our mission for racehorses.”