Winner of Barbaro Stakes Injured on Oaks Day

Two years after Barbaro's catastrophic breakdown, trainer Michael Matz watched another one of his colts break down in a race at Churchill Downs on Friday.

Chelokee, a 4-year-old colt, took a misstep on the sloppy track and fractured his right front leg, Larry Bramlage, DVM, Dipl. ACVS, said. The horse was running in fourth place over a sloppy track when he was injured at the top of the stretch of the Alysheba.

Jockey Ramon Dominguez was thrown from the horse, but jumped back up and apparently was uninjured.

Chelokee won the Barbaro Stakes last year at Pimlico — a race renamed in honor of 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro, who shattered his right hind leg in the Preakness and was euthanized eight months later.

Chelokee stumbled forward a few yards before an equine ambulance arrived, and the colt was taken off the track. The race was on the undercard of the Kentucky Oaks, which was won by Proud Spell.

"That's amazingly very similar to what Barbaro had, only in another leg." -- Dr. Larry Bramlage

Bramlage, a vet with Rood and Riddle hospital in Lexington where the horse was taken, said the fracture was affecting Chelokee's stability in the ankle. He said he was trying to re-establish the blood supply to the leg.

"That's amazingly very similar to what Barbaro had, only in another leg," Bramlage said.

Chelokee, owned by Centennial Farm, came into the race with three straight wins and five victories in nine career starts.

An afternoon thunderstorm turned the dirt track into a sloppy mess, and several horses scratched from various races -- including Elusive Lady, a scheduled starter in the Oaks. Matz also scratched Novel Twist from the 11th race.

Barbaro's ashes will be buried outside a gate at Churchill Downs, under a bronze statue of the popular horse. Matz, who attended a ceremony Thursday unveiling the design of Barbaro's statue, didn't immediately return calls seeking comment. He sends out Visionaire in Saturday's Kentucky Derby.

Dominguez wasn't scheduled to ride any other races Friday, but was cleared to ride Monba in the Derby, Churchill Downs spokesman Darren Rogers said.

See Chelokee Update: No Fracture

About the Author

The Associated Press

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with FREE weekly newsletters from Learn More