Reddam Racing's Bond Holder, at one time a contender on the road to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), has lost his battle with laminitis, according to an April 19 announcement by trainer Doug O'Neill.
The 3-year-old son of Mineshaft never started in 2014. He took the 2013 FrontRunner Stakes (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park over eventual Toyota Blue Grass (gr. I) winner Dance With Fate, then was fourth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I). Bond Holder also ran fourth in the CashCall Futurity (gr. I), which turned out to be the final start of his career.
"It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Bond Holder to laminitis," O'Neill said in a statement via his social media profiles on Facebook and Twitter. "Bond Holder, through each setback, fought valiantly and never gave up. However, the severity of the laminitis was ultimately too much to overcome."
Bred in Virginia by Lazy Lane Farms out of the Conquistador Cielo mare Cielo Girl, Bond Holder had a 1-1-2 record from seven starts with earnings of $366,000. He was a $125,000 purchase by Dennis O'Neill from the Ocala Breeders Sales Co.'s select sale of 2-year-olds in training in 2013 when consigned by James Crupi's New Castle Farm.
Prior to that, he sold for $90,000 to Crupi from the Lazy Lane consignment at the 2012 Keeneland September yearling sale.
Bond Holder encountered a unique set of circumstances that prevented his starting in 2014. First he was scratched from the Feb. 22 Risen Star Stakes (gr. II) at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots after being injured on the plane ride from California to New Orleans.
Then he wound up stranded in Miami after struggling with the flight out of New Orleans due to his previous traumatic experience, so his connections planned to start him in the March 8 Tampa Bay Derby (gr. II). But then he developed an abscess in a left hind hoof, and was taken to the Equine Medical Center of Ocala for treatment. He later developed laminitis.
"Our condolences to Mr. Reddam and the caregivers that did everything they could to save him," O'Neill's statement said. "Our collective hearts are heavy."