Laminitis claims life of Derby contender Intense Holiday

06/12/2014 05:17 PM


The following news release was distributed via Starlight Racing’s Facebook page June 12. Intense Holiday was the winner of the Grade 2 Risen Star and most recently finished twelfth in the Kentucky Derby:

We are sad to report that Starlight Racing’s Intense Holiday lost his battle to laminitis today. On May 27 Intense Holiday underwent surgery at the Hogan Equine Veterinary Clinic for a condylar fracture incurred during training on May 25. He was retired from racing following surgery, performed by Dr. Patty Hogan, but was expected to recover and, eventually, stand at stud.

In the days following surgery to the fracture, which occurred to his right front leg, Intense Holiday developed laminitis in both forelimbs. Intense Holiday fought bravely, just as he had when he was two days old and had an anaphylactic reaction to plasma but, in the end, the laminitis became irreversible. He was euthanized at Hogan Equine by Dr. Patty Hogan.

Dr. Patty Hogan, his attending veterinarian, offered, “To lose such a strong and vibrant athlete like Intense Holiday just underscores the insidious, nondiscriminatory nature of acute laminitis. 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.”

“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.”

Trey Eckerle

Trey Eckerle joined cn|2 in June 2013. A graduate of WKU, Trey grew up in Louisville and enjoys having a front row seat as Director to Kentucky sports and politics. He can be reached at 502-792-1106 or


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