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 its 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 that 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.
Arnaud Delacour, the trainer for Pramedya, said in an interview earlier this week that “we need to move on, but we to do everything we can to avoid that kind of tragedy. We are even more vigilant and careful about what’s going on with our horses, just…