2 horses die after Preakness undercard races – Details

Updated: May 23, 2016
2 horses die after Preakness undercard races "Details"

2 horses have died during earlier racing at Pimlico Race Course on the day of the Preakness Stakes — and one of the horses tragically struck down was owned by a couple who have felt the heartache previously.

Homeboykris, a former Kentucky Derby runner, won Race 1, but the 9-year-old gelding collapsed and died after scoring a 1/2-length victory at Pimlico.

A son of Roman Ruler, he visited the winner’s circle before the incident on his way back to the barn.

Francis Campitelli trained Homeboykris for owner Stirrup Trouble, LLC, at the time of his death. Campitelli’s son, Chris, tweeted that the horse suffered an “apparent” heart attack and will undergo a necropsy to further explore the cause.

Another horse also died at Pimlico Race Course Saturday and a jockey broke a collarbone after a spill on a damp, rainy day.

Pramedya broke down and had to be euthanized on the track due to catastrophic injury suffered in Race 4, an allowance optional claimer on the turf. The 4-year-old filly broke her left-front cannon bone and tossed her jockey, Daniel Centeno. A track spokesman said a medical staff transported Centeno to a local hospital with a break in his right clavicle.

Gretchen and Roy Jackson, who also owned 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro – an unbeaten horse injured in the Preakness a decade ago – also bred and campaigned Pramedya. Arnaud Delacour trained the daughter of Harlan’s Holiday. Pramedya won two of her four career starts entering Saturday.

“Homeboykris hasn’t taken a bad step since we’ve had him,” Chris Campitelli said. “Owner claimed him to assure he went to good home after race career. Freak accident.”

It was a grim way to begin a cold, overcast and rainy day, with Homeboykris a hard-knocking former graded stakes winner known for his longevity. The Maryland-bred won 14 of 63 starts, including the Grade I Champagne in 2009 for then-trainer Rick Dutrow. The next year, he ran 16th in the Derby won by Super Saver with MLB manager Joe Torre a co-owner.

Saturday’s win came in a starter allowance race on the slop. Homeboykris saved ground before swinging three-wide in the stretch on his way to topping Golden Rings and Double Whammy at Pimlico.

Homeboykris’ death will again spark conversation about the appropriate point to retire a racehorse. His win was his fourth in six races. And on Friday at Pimlico, 10-year-old Ben’s Cat captured the Jim McKay Turf Sprint for the fifth time in six tries for Hall of Fame trainer King Leatherbury.