Nehro, the runner-up in the 2011 Kentucky Derby for Zayat Stables, died of colic Saturday morning. The 5-year-old had been in training with Steve Asmussen at Churchill Downs when he was discovered to be noticeably uncomfortable in his stall early Saturday. His condition “spiraled badly” according to Asmussen, and Nehro passed away in route to a nearby clinic.
“I can’t put into words how much respect I have for Nehro. He was loved by everyone around the barn. What a cool horse. Quality animal. Just a horrible, horrible deal,” Asmussen said.
The loss was especially heartbreaking for owner Ahmed Zayat and the Zayat family.
“I am deeply saddened. Nehro was my favorite horse whom I had a deep bond with. Everyone who came in contact with this horse loved him. He cannot be replaced, and I’m devastated,” said Zayat.
Racing manager Justin Zayat said: “I was very sad to get the news from Steve first-thing this morning. We’re extremely heartbroken and stunned. For him to run so great and be second in the Derby, and now for this to happen on Derby Day, it’s just very emotional.”
Purchased for $170,000 as a yearling at Keeneland September, Nehro finished as the runner-up in the Louisiana Derby, Arkansas Derby and Kentucky Derby and he earned $978,381 with a record of 2-4-0 from 12 starts. By Mineshaft out of the Afleet mare The Administrator, Nehro was recently fifth in an allowance race in his seasonal debut at Oaklawn on April 14th.