Risen Star winner Intense Holiday loses battle with laminitis

Starlight Racing’s Intense Holiday, winner of the Grade II Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds and runner-up in the Grade II Louisiana Derby, was euthanized Thursday after developing laminitis in both forelimbs.

On May 27 Intense Holiday underwent surgery at the Hogan Equine Veterinary Clinic for a condylar fracture to his right front 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, the son of Harlan’s Holiday developed laminitis and the effects of the ailment became irreversible. He was euthanized at Hogan Equine by Dr. Hogan.

“To lose such a strong and vibrant athlete like Intense Holiday just underscores the insidious, nondiscriminatory nature of acute laminitis,” Dr. Hogan said in a release. “Intense Holiday was an incredibly stoic patient and his toughness humbled those of us caring for him. I regret that we could not prevent the progression of the disease in this wonderful colt. It is a tragedy to lose him.”

Trained by Todd Pletcher, Intense Holiday was prepping for a start in the Belmont Stakes when he suffered his injury. The dark bay colt had finished 12th in the Kentucky Derby and had a record of two wins from nine career starts with $551,900 in earnings.

His breakthrough victory came when he defeated Albano by a nose in the Risen Star Stakes to solidify his status on the Kentucky Derby trail.

“It’s a tough day for me, our partners and our team,” said Jack Wolf, co-managing partner of Starlight Racing. “This horse was a fighter and he fought for his life the same way he battled on the track – with tenacity. It’s a terrible loss for all of us.”