Tragedy Strikes Pimlico Track: Bob Baffert-Trained Horse Euthanized Before Preakness Stakes

Photo: Instagram/Bob Baffert

Tragedy struck at the Pimlico track just hours before the highly anticipated Preakness Stakes, as a three-year-old colt named Havnameltdown was euthanized due to a severe fetlock injury that was deemed "non-operable."

The horse, trained by the once-suspended Bob Baffert, sustained the injury during the Chick Lang Stakes, the sixth race of the day. Havnameltdown stumbled on the final turn, causing jockey Luis Saez to be thrown off.

Despite the evident pain, the injured horse continued running until it was stopped on the homestretch to receive immediate medical attention. To shield the crowd from witnessing the distressing scene, a dark screen was set up around Havnameltdown.

Photo: Instagram/Havnameltdown, the favored horse trained by Bob Baffert, tragically had to be euthanized behind the scenes during the sixth race of Preakness Day at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore.

Unfortunately, the severity of the injury led medical personnel to make the difficult decision to euthanize the horse. Unbeknownst to the attendees, the music at the track continued playing during this heart-wrenching moment behind the screen.

Expressing his deep regret, Baffert spoke about the tragic incident, stating, "We never had an issue with him. We are so careful with all these horses, and it still happens. It is something that is very disheartening.

I feel so bad for that horse, and I just hope that Luis is OK." Saez, who suffered a leg injury, was promptly transported to a nearby hospital by ambulance. Details regarding the nature and extent of his injury remain undisclosed at this time.

The Preakness marked Baffert's return to the Triple Crown after a two-year suspension from racing due to his horse, Media Spirit, winning the 2021 Kentucky Derby and subsequently failing two drug tests. Baffert currently trains National Treasure, who participated in the Preakness on Saturday evening.

Regrettably, the untimely death of Havnameltdown adds to the recent string of distressing fatalities in horse racing. In the lead-up to the Kentucky Derby, seven horses lost their lives at Churchill Downs, followed by another casualty a week later.

The previous occurrence of multiple racehorse deaths receiving significant attention dates back to 2019 when 37 horses perished at Santa Anita throughout the year.

Read Next: Golfer Tom Kim Takes Unexpected Mud Bath at PGA Championship Opening Round

Source: Yahoo Sports

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