Promising juvenile colt Here Comes Frazier went from likely graded-stakes winner to fighting for his life Sunday after a fall marred the finish of Sunday’s Grade III Bourbon Stakes at Keeneland.
Here Comes Frazier was leading in the stretch of the 11⁄16-mile turf race under jockey Julien Leparoux when he shied and fell into the rail, sending Leparoux tumbling several yards over the rail.
Although Here Comes Frazier was initially thought to have only suffered cuts and scrapes, Dr. Mary Scollay, equine medical director of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, said the dark bay colt was showing signs of lameness in his right hind leg.
The son of Badge of Silver was later transported to Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital where trainer Ken McPeek said in a text message Sunday night that the colt was found to have a compound fracture of his right hock that would require surgery and that he was “not sure whether he can make it back. Pretty tough injury.”
Owned by Magdalena Racing, Here Comes Frazier had broken his maiden by 7 lengths in his first race, going 6 furlongs at Arlington Park on Sept. 5. Leparoux, who won eight races during the meet’s first two days, was able to ride the last two races Sunday but complained of pain, primarily in his right hand.
“It’s my thumb and, little bit, the wrist,” Leparoux said. “I can squeeze, and it is good but, if someone squeezes my finger, it hurts a little bit.”
Here Comes Frazier appeared to spook just as Leparoux was raising his whip in the stretch, but the Eclipse Award-winning rider said he never actually hit the colt. McPeek said Here Comes Frazier had never had the whip used on him previously.
“I didn’t actually whip the horse; he was kind of looking around before that,” Leparoux said. “I didn’t touch him but, maybe the fact I moved my hand or something, he got scared. I’m not sure that’s why he did it. I just hope he’s OK.”
The Al Stall-trained Animal Spirits ended up winning the Bourbon Stakes by half a length over Coalport and is under consideration for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf.