The Preakness Day card at Pimlico had been accident free until the 10th race on the card -- the, $250,000 Dixie Stakes (gr. IIT) (VIDEO) at 1 1/8 miles on turf.
As Mending Fences and jockey Eddie Castro led the field down the backside nearing the second turn, the 5-year-old horse broke down, throwing the rider. Einstein, among the horses directly behind the injured Mending Fences, lost rider Robby Albarado.
Neither Castro and Albarado appeared injured and Einstein was also pulled up and jogged back down the stretch following the race. Mending Fences sustained a condylar fracture of his right front leg and was euthanized.
“He had a condylar fracture in his (right front) ankle,” reported Larry Bramlage, on-call veterinarian for the American Association of Equine Practitioners. “Going around the turn caused him to dislocate the ankle. When he went down, the fracture went through the skin. That made the prognosis grave. He was euthanized.”
Meanwhile, Remarkable News and Cosmonaut, who had been tracking Mending Fences a couple of lengths off the pace until the accident, suddenly had the lead and continued their advantage on to the wire, getting the 1 1/8 miles on grass in course-record time of 1:46 1/5. While Remarkable News was clear of Mending Fences, it appeared that Cosmonaut jumped the fallen horse and was bothered. Remarkable News edged away to a five-length advantage and enjoyed a comfortable lead until deep stretch, when Cosmonaut closed to within three-quarters of a length at the wire.
Mending Fences and Remarkable News both cleared the field from the far outside posts in the 11-horse field to lead through fractions of :24, :46 3/5 and 1:10 1/5.
"It was a great ride by Ramon," Pena said. "I was concerned about the post, but he did it without effort, without losing a lot of ground. Ramon gave him a tremendous ride.”
“(Mending Fences) really didn’t stumble, he just fell to the ground," said Dominguez, who won for the third time on the Preakness card. "I couldn’t even avoid him, even if I wanted to. I was very close to him, but he didn’t interfere with me. I just hate to see that happen."
The victory was the eighth in 14 career starts for Remarkable News, a son of Chayim who finished sixth, beaten only 2 1/4 lengths after a wide trip, in the Maker’s Mark Mile (gr. IIT) at Keeneland in his previous start. The victory, worth $150,000, pushed his earnings to $640,291. Remarkable News raced at nine furlongs for the first time Saturday.
"He got it done going a mile and an eighth, because that was a concern for a lot of people," Dominguez said. "He proved that he has a lot of class.”
Silver Tree finished fourth, followed by Dreadnaught, Woodlander, Can't Beat It, Stay Close and General Jumbo. Wood Be Willing scratched.
“This is just unfortunate," said Albarado of Einstein's bad luck. "I had an option to go in or go out. He stumbled and I fell off. It’s too bad.”