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Colic claims life of top turf mare Laughing

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Laughing, a finalist for the 2013 Eclipse Award as the nation's top female turf horse, died yesterday morning during surgery to correct a severe case of colic, according to Dr. Allan Wise, who stated that her “condition had been extremely painful.”

Wise, resident veterinarian for Colts Neck Farm, NJ, where she lived, spoke with affection for the 6-year old mare, noting that she had always “been pretty healthy, enough to win four graded stakes. It's really tough for the boss (owner Richard Santulli) and all of us."

Wise also stated that Santulli and trainer Alan Goldberg had expected to continue running Laughing through 2014, before retiring her to become a broodmare.

"She made it easy to get up and go to work in the morning," Wise said. "She was as game as they come and a real nice horse to be around. She didn't do one thing wrong and was an interesting animal. You always lose the good ones."

While most people equate colic with twisted colons, the term encompasses a number of gastronintestinal and non-gastrointestinal conditions that cause severe abdominal pain, and can often prove fatal without surgery. Common symptom can include: biting the stomach, turning the head to watch the stomach or flanks, pacing, frequent attempts at urination, rolling, groaning, curling the upper lips back and exposing the front teeth, grind teeth and clenching the jaw, lying down and getting up repeatedly, stretching, excessive drooling, constipation, loss of appetite, dark mucous membranes and elevated pulse rate.