Lights On Broadway, the 2001 Texas Racehorse of the Year, a racehorse so special he inspired Donna Keen to found Remember Me Rescue, died over the Labor Day weekend after a severe and sudden bout of colic.
In an announcement via Facebook Keen says, “I feel like I lost by best friend today.”
The son of Majestic Light, who years ago came perilously close to the slaughterhouse after knocking out a formidable race record, and earning more than $500,000, was taken in by Donna and Dallas Keen several years ago, and made a poster horse for their new rescue in Burleson, Texas.
Their long and happy friendship however, ended suddenly. After the farm manager, while conducting his morning chores, discovered Lights was suffering from colic, the veterinarian was called. When he arrived, Lights was very toxic, with reflux coming out of his nose, and in extreme pain, Keen says.
Lights On Broadway
Sire: Majestic Light
Dam: Script Gal
Foal date: May 29, 1997
Earnings: $572,445, 83 starts“He (determined) his stomach had ruptured,” says Keen, adding, “Even in extreme pain, Lights was polite and a gentleman to the end.”
He was administered heavy sedation and humanely euthanized at the farm, and his remans will be buried beneath a huge pecan tree, alongside Dallas’ beloved pony horse, Blue.
“The evening we buried Blue, this beam of sunlight shined through the clouds and trees and illuminated the huge pecan tree, only that tree, turning it almost orange,” Keen says. “It was like God comforting us, telling us Blue was with him. I can almost bet we’ll see it again when we bury Lights.”
Lights on Broadway had a tumultuous life.
When he was up, he was winning against the best of them. As a 4-year-old in 2001, he won the Assault Stakes at Lone Star Park, the Chick Lang Jr. Memorial Handicap at Retama Park, and the Star of Texas Stakes at Sam Houston Race Park. With those three black-type scores and many other impressive performances, Lights was crowned 2001 Texas Horse of the Year, according to the Blood Horse.
He dropped in class and was running in low claimers by 2004, according to Mary Cage’s column in the Blood Horse, eventually selling to a horse broker and headed to a Canadian slaughterhouse.
“When the trailer driver made a stop at a café, he met Gregg Sanders, an Oklahoma-based Quarter Horse trainer. The two began talking and the driver informed Sanders he had a racehorse on the trailer that had several wins listed on his papers. Sanders recognized Lights on Broadway’s name and impressive race record. In that moment, he decided to buy Lights to keep him from going to slaughter,” Cage wrote in the article.
By 2008, Lights On Broadway caught the attention of Alex Brown, and he was placed on the Top Bunk List, which tracks there whereabouts of Thoroughbreds who have earned $500,00 or more. Lights earned just over $570,000.
Though by this point in his career, there were several who stepped up to offer Lights a home, include LOPE of Texas and Joe McDermott, Light’s breeder, it was Dallas and Donna Keen who would eventually open up their farm and their hearts to the hard-trying racehorse.
After he arrived, Keen says she fell in love with the 17-hand racehorse with flaxen mane and tail.
And it was with a heavy heart that she announced over the weekend that the horse who “came inches from death” and went on to become a foundation horse for her charity would no longer run the fields of her Texas farm. Light’s burial costs are $650, and eventually the farm would like to place a headstone. Those wishing to donate to these costs may do so at this hyperlink to Remember Me Rescue’s Pay Pal Account. ♦