BALTIMORE, Md. (Baltimore Sun, May 20, 2017) — A year after two horses died under different circumstances after going down at Pimlico on Preakness Day, procedures are in place to help ensure that kind of tragedy won’t be repeated during the races leading up to the 142nd running of the event — or in the featured race itself.
A spokesman for the Maryland Jockey Club said Friday that there was little to prevent what happened a year ago, but declined to talk about Saturday’s races.
“One horse had a heart attack and the other got [his] heels clipped and broke his leg,” the spokesman said.
Maryland-bred Homeboykris, a 9-year-old gelding who ran in the 2010 Kentucky Derby, collapsed after winning the first race and having his picture taken in the winner’s circle. A necropsy performed by the Maryland Department of Agriculture in Frederick showed that the horse suffered a heart attack.
The report examining the horse’s death also showed he was running with an elevated level of the anti-inflammatory drug dexamethasone in his blood, but it was determined that it had nothing to do with the heart attack.
In the fourth race last year, a 4-year-old filly named Pramedya collapsed on the turn during the final turn with a fractured left front leg.
The filly, who was euthanized at the track, was owned by Roy and Gretchen Jackson, the couple who owned 2006 Kentucky Derby champion Barbaro, who shattered his leg in that year’s Preakness and was eventually euthanized.
The two deaths were among three dozen that occurred on Maryland tracks in 2016, according to a post on horseracingwrongs.com, which received its information through a Maryland Public Information Act request to the Maryland Racing Commission. There have been four deaths so far this year, according to a commission official.
The Maryland Jockey Club handed out a list of procedures that will be in place for Saturday’s race, including the fact that no veterinarians administering salix is allowed in any of the barns housing the horses after 6:15 p.m. Friday “unless they have approval from the state veterinarian and the stewards or it is a documented emergency.”
Also, “all salix shall be administered no later than three hours prior to post time for the horses by the veterinarian designated by the commission. Failure to do so will result in the horse being scratched. No exceptions.”
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Crime and Punishment
Regarding Homeboykris “[t]rainer Francis Campitelli was fined $500 for the medication violation and was also assigned a point in the state’s penalty system, which could lead to a harsher punishment in the future if he commits subsequent violations”. (Source: Baltimore Sun, July 12, 2016).
That’s sort of a punishment. Seems pretty flimsy to us.
Dexamethasone is a corticosteroid hormone (basically a steroid) — a potent anti-inflammatory commonly used in horses to treat allergic reactions such as respiratory allergies, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (heaves), hives, itching and inflammatory diseases including osteoarthritis.
Very potent where overuse can cause serious problems in horses especially in combination with other drugs — pain-masking of course. (Source: Jane Allin, ref’g article by David W. Ramey, DVM.
Amazing isn’t it? They talk about the preventative measures they are taking this year after saying little could have prevented the deaths of those two horses last year. Look who’s involved too. —Editor.
Race one winner Homeboykris (3) collapsed and died following the post race Winners Circle presentation while returning to the barn during the 141st running of the Preakness Stakes day at Pimlico Race Course. May 21, 2016. Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports.