Two racehorses died immediately following a head-on collision between them during morning training at Belmont Park, in Elmont, on Saturday.
Caixa Eletronica, a nine-year-old four-time graded stakes winner, and four-year-old Six Drivers, collided at approximately 8 a.m. after Drivers unseated his rider and ran loose from the starting gate. Eletronica, who sustained a skull fracture, had been galloping on the training track. Drivers suffered a neck fracture. Both horses died immediately, according to the New York Racing Associationâ€™s Chief Examining Veterinarian Dr. Anthony Verderosa.
Eletronica, who was being ridden by Carlos Castro at the time of the collision and being trained by Todd Pletcher since 2011 on behalf of owner Mike Repole, was a popular and well-accomplished racehorse and won the stakes seven times â€” including the 2011 Grade 3 Westchester, 2012 Grade 2 Charles Town Classic and 2012 Grade 2 True North Handicap.
â€śItâ€™s a terrible day for racing,â€ť Repole said following the accident. â€śFor any horse, itâ€™s horrible. When you hear itâ€™s Caixa Eletronica, itâ€™s magnified. He was such an iron horse. For him to pass away like this makes no sense.â€ť
Drivers, who threw exercise rider Julio Pezua and bolted out of the starting gate in the opposite direction, was 0-for-4 lifetime.
Pezua was unharmed. Castro suffered a broken pelvis.