On Tuesday at 6:05 PM ET, a barn fire broke out by Barn 60 at Belmont Park — the area of operation occupied by trainers Wayne Potts and Jeffrey Englehart.
NYRA security and backstretch staff were immediately alerted, and they began helping out horses trapped in the barn by the flames.
The Elmont Fire Department responded within minutes to put out the fire and secure the area.
Sixty horses were affected by the fire. Fifty-eight were rescued, but two horses perished.
Those two horses were trained by Wayne Potts. Potts posted to social media this morning identifying the two horses as AMERICAN SAILOR and BEASTIE D.
There were no reported injuries to barn staff or NYRA employees. (Bob Ehalt, BloodHorse)
The cause of the fire was said to be "not immediately apparent", and the New York State Fire Marshal and Nassau County officials are investigating the case.
"The tragic loss of both horses will be deeply felt by the hard working women and men of the New York racing community, who dedicate themselves to the sport and to the care of these equine athletes," said Dave O'Rourke, NYRA President & CEO. "That collective dedication and sense of community was on display this evening, when the heroic and selfless response of so many prevented further loss and saved the lives of dozens of horses." (Pat McKenna, NYRA)