The news went from bad to as bad as it gets for Starlight Racing, as their Grade II Risen Star winner Intense Holiday had to be euthanized due to laminitis on Thursday.
Co-managed by Don Lucarelli of Duanesburg, Starlight had high hopes for Intense Holiday, who was 12th in the Kentucky Derby, but suffered a condylar fracture during training on May 25 and was retired after surgery two days later.
Intense Holiday still had a promising stud career in front of him, only to succumb to laminitis in both forelimbs that Dr. Patty Hogan could not mitigate.
“It’s a tough day for me, our partners and our team,” said co-managing partner Jack Wolf in a Starlight release. “This horse was a fighter, and he fought for his life in the same way he battled on the track — with tenacity. It’s a terrible loss for all of us.”
Intense Holiday was purchased at the 2012 Keeneland select yearling sale for $380,000.
He appeared to be a good Derby prospect when he won the Risen Star and was second in the Louisiana Derby, both at Fair Grounds in New Orleans, but had a troubled trip at Churchill Downs and never got rolling to finish 12th.
He was preparing for last Saturday’s Belmont Stakes when he broke his right front leg during training.
The surgery to repair his leg was successful, but he developed the often-fatal hoof infection laminitis and didn’t respond to treatment.
“To lose such a strong and vibrant athlete like Intense Holiday just underscores the insidious, nondiscriminatory nature of acute laminitis,” Hogan said.