The Miracle of Survival
On October 14, 2000, a 3-year-old colt was making his debut at Santa Anita in a maiden special weight race. As for any first time starter, the sky was the limit and the possibilities endless. He came in sixth on that day, and he would continue to race at Santa Anita, Hollywood Park, and Del Mar for the next 15 months.
In that time, he won one race in 13 starts, a $20,000 maiden claiming race at Del Mar on July 30, 2001, for his owners, the Firmamento Corporation.
This colt would continue to race for over five more years, with his last race on February 10, 2007 at Rillito Park race track in Tucson, Arizona.
On that day, he was entered for a claiming price of $1,500, finishing last in the field of six. With that race, he had just finished his career on the track at the age of 10. He had raced for over six years, having 56 starts, 8 wins, 6 seconds, and 6 thirds with earnings of $34,113.
In that span, he was owned by three separate owners and raced at Santa Anita, Hollywood Park, Del Mar, Rillito, Turf Paradise, Yavapai Downs, Graham Fair, Cochise Fair, Santa Cruz, Flagstaff, and Gila Fair. From there, the story is more or less lost, as this colt struggled to stay alive.
In mid December 2010, just before Christmas, this colt was found wandering about in someone’s yard in the southeast corner of the Arizona desert, emaciated, and barely able to move. His condition was so deplorable that he wasn’t even a possibility for the state auction.
At this point in his life, euthanasia would most likely be his fate. A last second phone call was made to a local horse rescue, Heart of Tucson, who agreed to take this brave colt under their wings and do all that they could to heal him or at least restore the dignity he so deserved. He arrived at Heart of Tucson in a very weak condition. He is malnourished, has horrific teeth, sores, and has severely rotten smelling abscesses in all of his feet.
Volunteers at Heart of Tucson are doing all that they can to bring him back to being a healthy colt once again. They say he is a sweetheart and has a strong will to live. In the spirit of the holiday season, with no prior knowledge of his racing name, the good people at Heart of Tucson named this colt “Gifted.”
Two days after “Gifted” was given his name, the people at Heart of Tucson ran his tattoo. His racing name was no longer a mystery. His name is Dyna King, sired by Dynaformer out of the mare Rekindled, foaled in 1997.
By racing standards, he is not a half brother to Barbaro, Nicanor, Lentenor, or Margano, but they are still all connected by their father, Dynaformer. The sire of Gifted aka Dyna King being the same as Barbaro and his brothers, means that his story needs to be told, and the people responsible for his condition should be found and held accountable down the road.
What Dyna King has had to endure in the last four years must have been a living hell for him. He has a long recovery ahead of him. This is indeed a story about the the will to live and the miracle of survival. A horse near death found in the cruel barren desert is a miracle to begin with. His cries of suffering and anguish and pain sent from his heart as he wandered lost and alone, most likely just discarded by whomever was supposed to be caring for him, were heard, and he was rescued by…. HEART of Tucson.
(The photo is courtesy of Mia Larocque and the story was written by Greg Jones and Erica Reid.)