This fine animal, name of Homeboykris, won the first race at Pimlico today, hit the winner’s circle, and then flat-out died on the way back the barn, probably of a heart attack. He was 9 years old, and has won 15 races in his career. Three races later, in the final turn, a 4-year-old named Pramedya broke her left-front cannon bone and had to be euthanized on the track. Her jockey, Daniel Centeno, was thrown and broke his collarbone.
“The horsey was a champion. I mean, he went out a winner,” Francis Campitelli, Homeboykris’ trainer, told the Baltimore Sun. “He was a brave horse at his age.” He also happened to belong in part to former Yankees manager Joe Torre:
It was a rainy, sloppy day at Pimlico, where the Preakness is about to go off. The reigning Kentucky Derby winner, Nyquist, is a 3-5 favorite in the mud. Two horses dying in a single day at an American racetrack isn’t the usual (races elsewhere make death more routine). But something like two dozen racehorses die weekly at American tracks, so it ain’t exactly lightning striking the same spot twice. And there’s nothing to indicate in these two horses’ deaths that anything was out of the ordinary—this news wouldn’t even merit much coverage if it hadn’t happened at a nationally televised Triple Crown race. These are expected misfortunes. They’re bound to befall horses raced hard their whole lives or sent at high speeds across mudfields.