Rich Camelot, an 8-year-old pacer who won at Bangor Raceway last Friday night, died Sunday morning at the track after being reportedly spooked by a dog. The incident has resulted in the immediate banning of dogs from the stable and paddock areas at the Maine racetrack.
Rich Camelot, owned by Gardner Patterson and trained by Shawn Gray, had just completed jogging when he was attacked by the dog that was new to the racetrack. The horse, still attached to his sulky, got loose and struck a dumpster. He was then caught and brought back to his barn, where he was treated by a state veterinarian. The horse soon died to what is being attributed as internal injuries; a necropsy will not be performed.
“He was a very fine animal. It just about broke my heart,” Patterson told the Bangor Daily News. “It’s been terrible for me. I’ve been around harness racing for about 40 years and it’s been quite a blow to me.”
Rich Camelot has been owned by Patterson since being purchased privately in April 2007. The son of Just Camelot made 131 starts over his career, with 31 wins, 18 seconds and 17 thirds. He took a mark of 1:58 or better in each of his seven years of racing, including a career-best 1:50.3 effort as a 4 year old in 2005 at Mohawk Racetrack. On June 5 he won at Bangor in 1:57.1, sending his career earnings to $181,597.