Grade 2 winner Intense Holiday, who underwent surgery recently for a condylar fracture to his right foreleg after being injured in training, was euthanized June 12 due to laminitis.
Owner Starlight Racing reported that Intense Holiday, who ran 12th in this year's Kentucky Derby, developed laminitis in both forelimbs days after undergoing surgery May 27 at the Hogan Equine Veterinary Clinic in New Jersey.
The injury occurred May 25 when the Todd Pletcher-trained Intense Holiday was working in company with stablemate Commissioner at Belmont Park, where he was preparing for a start in the Belmont Stakes.
The son of Harlan's Holiday was retired following surgery, but his owners were optimistic that Intense Holiday would be able to recover to become a stallion. However, in the days after the onset of laminitis the condition became irreversible, according to a statement from Starlight Racing.
"To lose such a strong and vibrant athlete like Intense Holiday just underscores the insidious, nondiscriminatory nature of acute laminitis," said attending veterinarian Dr. Patty Hogan. "No horse is immune to this disease and it can strike at any time and with little warning. Intense Holiday was an incredibly stoic patient and his toughness humbled those of us caring for him.
"To this day, laminitis in the horse remains such a poorly understood disease process and our treatment options are so limited. I regret that we could not prevent the progression of the disease in this wonderful colt. It is a tragedy to lose him."
Earlier in the season, Intense Holiday won the Risen Star Stakes and finished second in the Louisiana Derby, both at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots. He also was third in the Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park. The dark bay colt, out of the Unbridled Song's mare Intensify, won two of nine starts and earned $551,900.
Intense Holiday, bred in Kentucky by Machmer Hall & Haymarket Farm, was purchased by Starlight's Frank Brothers for $380,000 from the Select Sales consignment at the 2012 Keeneland September yearling sale.
"It's a tough day for me, our partners and our team," stated Jack Wolf, Starlight Racing co-managing partner. "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."