Two horses died at Churchill Downs on Tuesday (May 2), just days before the venue is scheduled to hold the 149th running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday (May 6), marking four deaths in a span of 6 days leading up to horse racing's biggest annual event, WDRB reports.
Take Charge Briana, a 3-year-old filly trained by D. Wayne Lukas and owned by Willis Horton Racing, was reported to have fallen during Race 5 and euthanized on the track. The horse's jockey, Luis Saez, was brought down during the fall but reported to be OK, according to WDRB.
Chasing Artie, a 5-year-old filly trained by Saffie A. Joseph Jr. and owned by Ramsey Stables, was reported to have collapsed in Race 8 and died after the race, owner Ken Ramsey confirmed to Marty McGee of Daily Racing Form.
"I'm shattered basically, you know what I mean? I know it can't happen - it's mind-boggling. The odds of it happening twice is just a trillion. I run almost 4,000 horses, and it never happened like that. So it doesn't, it doesn't make sense," Joseph Jr. said via WDRB.
Chasing Artie's death came days after Parents Pride, another filly owned by Ramsey Stables, had died following Race 8 last Saturday (April 29).
"Those are a couple of really tough blows," Ramsey said via McGee. "Almost hard to believe."
Additionally, Kentucky Derby contender Wild On Ice was euthanized on April 27, marking four deaths in a span of 6 days leading up to horse racing's biggest annual event.
Coverage of the 149th running of the Kentucky Derby will air live on NBC, Peacock, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app beginning at 12:00 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. ET on Saturday.