Yesterday afternoon at Churchill Downs, Never Tell Lynda died after banging her head prior to the 1st race. Apparently, the 5-year-old mare was spooked by a loud commercial, including the sound of a gate bell, on the track’s giant screen. The Courier-Journal reports that the horse “reared, twisted and fell backward.” When it became clear that she was dying, a vet helped her along. Says trainer Kenny Wirth: “I knew she was dead. I could see it in her eyes. Blood started gushing from her nose and mouth.”

Churchill Downs, of course, “extend[s] [its] deepest sympathy to trainer Kenny Wirth and everyone at the stable for their loss.” Pity the poor trainer, for apparently he’s in the midst of a rough patch: “I’ve had nothing but bad luck since I got up here. My one horse blowed a suspensory (ligament). Then I had a filly run a couple of weeks ago and she slab-fractured a knee. (Never Tell Lynda) was my hope.”

Interestingly, in Never Tell Lynda’s penultimate start back in November (at Churchill), she “broke in the air and was awkward into stride, [and] pulled up before going a quarter mile.” Officially, a DNF.