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BC-RAC--Pimlico-Horse Death,1st Ld-Writethru

May 17, 2019
AP Sports Writer

BALTIMORE (AP) — A filly collapsed and died while running at Pimlico Race Course on Friday, the day before the track hosts the second leg of the Triple Crown.

Congrats Gal faltered in the upper stretch of the Miss Preakness Stakes in 83-degree heat and was eased to the finish line.

The Florida-bred 3-year-old was running her sixth career race. She came in last in the eighth race and fell to the dirt about 100 yards past the finish line.

Clearly distraught, Congrats Gal jockey Trevor McCarthy said the filly felt hot walking on the track before the race. As a medical team rushed to the scene, McCarthy said, “She’s clearly sound. Nothing’s broken or anything like that.”

After being treated on the scene, Congrats Gal was taken from the track by ambulance.

The Stronach Group, which owns Pimlico, and the Maryland Jockey Club confirmed the death in a statement: “Commission veterinarians attended to the horse immediately. A full necropsy will be performed to try to determine the cause of death.”

The death marred one of the two biggest days of the year at aging Pimlico, where a sizable crowd gathered for Black-Eyed Susan Day.

Covfefe won the eight-horse race for 3-year-old fillies. Owned by Charles Biggs, Congrats Gal was sired by A.P. Indy. She had a 3-1-1 record going into the race with winnings of $134,740.

The Preakness on Saturday will be run without the Kentucky Derby winner for the first time since 1996, ending any prospects for a Triple Crown.

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