Trainer Casie Coleman said a vet suspects the sophomore pacing colt was bitten by a spider that caused an infection and puss pocket.
by Dave Briggs
Trainer Casie Coleman believes a spider bite — perhaps from a Brown Recluse Spider — is what led Betting Line to be scratched from the Breeders Crown due to injury.
The three-year-old pacing colt, who has won 14 straight races, was completely normal when fed early Saturday morning in detention at the Meadowlands. A few hours later, the colt had trouble walking and a puss pocket had formed.
Coleman originally thought Betting Line injured himself in his stall, but Saturday night, after scratching out of the Crown, her vet discovered what looked like a serious bug bite on Betting Line’s left front shoulder. A test confirmed a poisonous bite of some kind and a serious infection, which is believed to have caused the puss pocket that led to the lameness.
“The vet had a similar one last week in Jersey and in 48 hours the horse was okay,” Coleman said via text message, adding friends in the business have been telling her about horses that have been bitten by Brown Recluse Spiders in the region. “This sucks like hell, but the horse should be okay. There is nothing broken.”
Betting Line is being treated for the infection and Coleman said an ultrasound will be performed today to find the puss pocket to treat that, too, in hopes of being able to race the horse at Dover Downs in a few weeks before the pacer goes off to stud duty at Hanover Shoe Farms.
The son of Bettor’s Delight out of Heather’s Western has won 14 of 15 races this year and $1.46 million in 2016. He has earned $1.879 million lifetime for Coleman and Ross and Margaret Warriner’s West Wins Stable, Christine Calhoun and Mac Nichol.