07/14/2016 1:50PM

Homeboykris had elevated level of drug in system when he died


Homeboykris, the 9-year-old gelding who collapsed and died after winning a race May 21 on the Preakness Stakes card at Pimlico Race Course in Maryland, had an impermissible level of a regulated medication in his system at the time of the race, according to an inquiry conducted by the Maryland Racing Commission.

The anti-inflammatory medication dexamethasone appeared in the horse’s postrace sample at a level of 30 picograms per milliliter of blood plasma, above the permissible level of 5 picograms per milliliter, according to a report prepared by the commission. The report quoted David Zipf, the chief state veterinarian for the commission, as saying that the medication did not contribute to the horse’s death, which was attributed to a heart attack.

The death of Homeboykris got the Preakness card off to a somber start. Homeboykris was making the 63rd start of his career in the day’s opening race, a $5,000 starter allowance, and he was well known on the Maryland circuit. He suffered the heart attack while walking to the detention barn.

As a result of the overage, Homeboykris’s trainer, Francis Campitelli, was fined $500. Campitelli was also assessed one point under Maryland’s multiple medication violation points system, in which the accrual of points can lead to harsher penalties.

The report said the medication was prescribed by and provided to Campitelli by a racetrack practitioner, Jon Sivick, in the form of Azium Powder, with instructions to administer the substance two days prior to the race. The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium recommends that dexamethasone be administered no closer than 72 hours prior to a race to avoid testing over the permissible limit.