Homeboykris winning the 2009 Champagne (gr. I)

Homeboykris winning the 2009 Champagne (gr. I)

Coglianese Photos

Homeboykris Dies After Win at Pimlico

The Roman Ruler gelding won the 2009 Champagne Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park.

Preakness day began on a somber note May 21 at Pimlico Race Course, with the death of grade I winner Homeboykris following his victory in the first race.

The 9-year-old Roman Ruler gelding stalked the pace on the sloppy main track and rallied to win by a half-length under jockey Horacio Karamanos in the 1 1/16-mile starter allowance race at odds of 9-1.

Homeboykris, owned by Stirrup Trouble, had his picture taken in the winner's circle and collapsed on his walk back to the barn. According to trainer Francis Campitelli's son, Chris Campitelli, the gelding "died from an apparent heart attack." He has been under the care of the Campitellis since a $5,000 claim at Laurel Park in December. Saturday's race was his fourth start and second win for the barn.

"Homeboykris hasn't taken a bad step since we've had him," Chris Campitelli said on Twitter. "(The) owner claimed him to assure he went to good home after his race career. (It was a) freak accident."

In just his third start, Homeboykris won the 2009 Champagne Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park and ran 16th in the 2010 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). In 63 lifetime starts, he had a 14-10-5 record with earnings of $567,369, but never won another stakes after the Champagne.

Later, in the fourth race, Lael Stables' Pramedya broke down and was euthanized on the track after the completion of the 1 1/16-mile turf allowance/optional claiming race. Jockey Daniel Centeno, who was unseated in the incident, was transported to Sinai Hospital in Baltimore with a broken clavicle.