A goose (left) and flamingo (right) played havoc with runners in the third race at Gulfstream Park on Wednesday
A white goose and pink flamingo sitting on the first turn of the Gulfstream Park turf course scrambled to get out of the way of a field of eight 3-year-old fillies charging toward them in Wednesday’s third race at the Hallandale Beach, Fla., track, but one of the birds was struck and apparently killed. Several runners in the field had to alter course to avoid the waterfowl.
The bizarre mishap occurred just after the opening furlong of the one-mile turf race as Z First and Javiar Castellano led the field around the bend. A large, white goose, startled by the horses, attempted to take flight but was grazed by Proton Pack, ridden by Emisael Jaramillo. Two other horses, Charmed Way (ridden by Junior Alvarado) and Mia Camila (Jose Ortiz), altered course to avoid the bird, but there was more trouble just ahead.
The flamingo then tried to get out of the horses’ path but was struck by Proton Pack just as it was trying to get airborne. Charmed Way also may have struck the flamingo.
According to the Equibase chart footnotes of the race, “Proton Pack leapt while grazing a goose heading into the first turn, then trampled an ill-fated pink flamingo, and retired after a half mile.” Proton Pack finished last.
Z First avoided both birds and led all the way, drawing off to win by 4 3/4 lengths ahead of favored Hardspun Woman, who did not appear to be affected by the birds. Charmed Way, who was last early, rallied late to get third, with Mia Camila fourth.