Friday, March 13, 2020

Incident occurred March 12, 2020 at Blue Grass Airport (KLEX), Lexington, Kentucky

The Stiff eyes his surroundings March 12th at Blue Grass Airport (KLEX), Lexington, Kentucky.
Owner: Daniell McCarthy 
 Trainer: Michael W. McCarthy

Brook Ledge Horse Transportation

The biggest challenge of a cross-country journey for The Stiff may already be behind him, despite the colt's pending leap to graded stakes company in the March 14th Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) at Turfway Park.

The Michael McCarthy trainee, arriving from California, was one of two horses to emerge unscathed after a Brook Ledge van ran into the wing of a Tex Sutton airplane March 12th at about 5:30 a.m. ET at Blue Grass Airport in Lexington.

The driver of the van was taken to UK Hospital, and Brook Ledge reported he was in stable condition Thursday evening. Both horses and three people riding in the trailer portion of the rig were unharmed, according to Tex Sutton operations manager Mike Payne.

Brook Ledge declined to state the cause of the accident, pending an investigation.

The plane, which came from San Bernardino, California, will be out of commission for an undetermined amount of time. 

"This is actually our secondary airplane; our primary plane is in heavy maintenance and due to come out this weekend," Payne said. "I'm not sure what date the main plane will be available, and we're still assessing the damage to this one. Surprisingly, it appears to be fairly minimal compared to what all happened. Inspectors are due to come in tomorrow to go over it. I'm not sure which plane (is) going to fly, but we're hoping to have one available Monday when we have a flight scheduled."

Payne said he was there when the accident occurred.

"I was on the other side of the plane, so I really didn't see it, but I immediately ran over and helped the guy out of the truck, called for the paramedics, and tried to get him taken care of and the horses settled," he said. "Both horses were fine, and the three people in the back of the van were fine, and Brook Ledge had another truck there within 30 minutes."

An airport spokeswoman told WKYT-TV the crash did not have any impact on airport operations.

Mattie Kerker, who was traveling with The Stiff, reported the incident to McCarthy, who then shared her images via his stable's Twitter account, including one of The Stiff peering out from a Brook Ledge van.

"He's pretty level-headed; nothing gets him too excited," McCarthy said of the son of Danza  who finished fifth last out in the Feb. 15 El Camino Real Derby.

The Jeff Ruby Steaks is a 1 1/8-mile race on the Road to the Kentucky Derby and carries qualifying points for the top four finishers on a 20-8-4-2 scale.

"He's a horse that will definitely get a mile and an eighth, and it seemed like a good spot to get him a shot at this point," McCarthy said. "In the El Camino Real Derby, he ran sneaky good; he was wide throughout and never really got a chance to level out. Unfortunately, it's a large field, and he's drawn out wide again (post 10 in a field of 12). At this point, he's (eligible for) a two-other-than allowance, and on the West Coast you don't see many two-other-than allowance conditions being written for 3-year-olds."

McCarthy sent his best wishes to the van driver, as did Payne.

Original article can be found here ➤

A horse van carrying Grade 3 Jeff Ruby Steaks contender The Stiff crashed into the wing of an airplane early Thursday morning at the Blue Grass Airport in Lexington, Kentucky, the Lexington Herald-Leader reports.

The Brook Ledge Horse Transportation van struck the wing of a Boeing 727 owned by Tex Sutton Equine Air Transportation, driving the wing through the cab of the truck. The driver of the van was hospitalized, but the three human passengers riding in the back with the two equine passengers were unharmed.

One of the two horses, arriving from San Bernardino, Calif., was The Stiff, a Danza colt entered in Saturday's Jeff Ruby Steaks at Turfway Park. Michael McCarthy, co-owner and trainer of The Stiff, shared a picture of the colt still on the van, looking unfazed by his surroundings. The Stiff, who most recently finished fifth in the El Camino Real Derby on February 14th at Golden Gate Fields, is listed at morning line odds of 12-1 in the Jeff Ruby.

Original article can be found here ➤

A truck driver is in the hospital after crashing into an airplane at the Blue Grass Airport Thursday morning.

The tractor-trailer truck hit the side of a Tex Sutton airplane, causing the Boeing 727 wing to go through the cab of the truck, airport spokeswoman Amy Caudill said. The severity of the driver’s injuries was not disclosed.

The truck was on the ramp after it picked up horses arriving from San Bernardino, California. The airport allows trucks and horse trailers onto the ramp when horses arrive to get them straight from the plane to the horse trailer, Caudill said.

There were three people in the back of the truck who did not sustain any injuries, Caudill said. She also said that to her knowledge, the two horses on the truck were fine as well.

The airport responded to the crash and transported the driver to the hospital, but airport operations have not been impacted because horse transports occur in an area away from the terminal, Caudill said.

Original article can be found here ➤


  1. Rough for the driver. Could it be that he did not perceive the edge of the thin wingtip since it appears to be at eye level to his driving position?

  2. There's a reason you place orange cones at all four corners of aircraft on open ramps like this. I blame this squarely on the airport operator. And yes, an airfoil not lit up at night is nearly invisible horizontally at night.