Caixa Eletronica Dead After Head-On Collision at Belmont Training Track
Caixa Eletronica, a popular four-time graded stakes winner, died as the result of injuries he suffered in a training accident at approximately 8 a.m. on Saturday at Belmont Park.
The 9-year-old was galloping on the training track when he collided with another horse, Six Drivers, who was running loose after having unseated his rider behind the starting gate. Caixa Eletronica suffered a skull fracture in the incident, with Six Drivers suffering a neck fracture. Both horses died immediately as a result of their injuries, according to Dr. Anthony Verderosa, chief examining veterinarian for The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA).
Caixa Eletronica hit his best stride after he was claimed by trainer Todd Pletcher for $62,500 on behalf of owner Mike Repole in 2011. With Repole and Pletcher, Caixa Eletronica won seven stakes, including the 2011 Grade 3 Westchester, 2012 Grade 2 Charles Town Classic, 2012 Grade 2 True North Handicap, and 2012 Grade 3 Fall Highweight Handicap.
“It's a terrible day for racing,” said Repole. “For any horse, it's horrible. When you hear it's Caixa Eletronica, it's magnified.”
Pletcher, who was at Gulfstream Park on Saturday, commented on the loss. “He's a barn favorite. Like I've said time and time again, to me he was everything that was good about the game,” Pletcher said. “You take a horse from a modest beginning and literally get to the pinnacle of racing. He showed up every time. It's just heartbreaking.”
Overall, Caixa Eletronica was 23-9-11 in 69 starts, with more than $1.8 million in earnings. In his final start, the chestnut son of Arromanches was fourth in the 2013 Grade 3 Fall Highweight on November 28 at Aqueduct Racetrack.
“He was such an iron horse,” said Repole. “For him to pass away like this makes no sense. I told Todd, ‘If this horse ever gets a pimple on his rear, I'll retire him.' Todd said, ‘I wish my 2-year-olds and 3-year-olds were super sound like this horse.'”
Caixa Eletronica's exercise rider, Carlos Castro, was taken to North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y. for evaluation. Six Drivers' rider, Julio Pezua, suffered no apparent injuries.