Caixa Eletronica, a popular four-time graded stakes winner, died as the result of injuries he suffered in a training accident Jan. 4 that also claimed the life of loose horse Six Drivers at Belmont Park.
The collision occurred at approximately 8 a.m. as Caixa Eletronica was galloping on the training track. The 9-year-old Arromanches collided with Six Drivers, who was running loose after unseating his rider behind the starting gate. Caixa Eletronica suffered a skull fracture in the incident, and Six Drivers suffered a neck fracture. Both horses died immediately as a result of their injuries, according to Dr. Anthony Verderosa, chief examining veterinarian for New York Racing Association.
Caixa Eletronica hit his best stride after he was claimed by trainer Todd Pletcher for $62,500 on behalf of owner Mike Repole in 2011. With Repole and Pletcher, Caixa Eletronica won seven stakes, including the 2011 Westchester Stakes (gr. III), and the 2012 Charles Town Classic Stakes (gr. II), True North Handicap (gr. II), and Fall Highweight Handicap (gr. III).
"It's a terrible day for racing," said Repole. "For any horse, it's horrible. When you hear it's Caixa Eletronica, it's magnified."
"Like I've said time and time again, to me (Caixa Eletronica) was everything that was good about the game," Pletcher said. "You take a horse from a modest beginning and literally get to the pinnacle of racing. He showed up every time. It's just heartbreaking."
Overall, Caixa Eletronica was 23-9-11 in 69 starts, with more than $1.8 million in earnings. In his final start, he finished fourth in the 2013 Fall Highweight Nov. 28 at Aqueduct Racetrack. In 2013, he won the four of nine starts including the Duck Dance Stakes at Belmont.
"He was such an iron horse," said Repole. "For him to pass away like this makes no sense. I told Todd, 'If this horse ever gets a pimple on his rear, I'll retire him.' Todd said, 'I wish my 2-year-olds and 3-year-olds were super sound like this horse.'"
Caixa Eletronica's exercise rider, Carlos Castro, was taken to North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y. for evaluation. Six Drivers' rider, Julio Pezua, suffered no apparent injuries.
Six Drivers had not won in four career starts. The 4-year-old Sunriver gelding closed out his 3-year-old season with a runner-up finish in a Dec. 27 maiden claiming race at Aqueduct. Six Drivers' last owner on record was Jeffrey Tucker, but the horse was claimed in his final start by Chris Englehart for Island Wind Racing.