France Go De Ina ‘Fine’ After Eventful Morning At Pimlico

There were some anxious moments for Yuji Inaida’s France Go de Ina at Pimlico Race Course Wednesday morning. The colt from Japan had just completed his four-furlong breeze when exercise rider Masaki Takano suddenly fell off the son of Will Take Charge just after he passed the finish line.

There were no other horses on the track. France Go de Ina prepares for Saturday’s Preakness Stakes (G1) each day following regular training hours due to quarantine regulations.

Takano slowly got to his feet as France Go de Ina continued on before being apprehended by Pimlico outriders. Both Takano and the horse are fine, according to Kate Hunter, the Preakness field representative for the Japan Racing Association.

“[Takano] slipped a bit from the stirrup on the left side and lost his balance,” Hunter said. “The horse is fine.”

Trainer Hideyuki Mori was trackside and bolted towards the winner’s circle, where Takano stood and waited for France Go de Ina to be retrieved and brought back. Takano then got back on board and was led into the Pimlico paddock, where he took several laps in a schooling session.

After watching video of the incident, Mori was relieved that France Go de Ina did not stumble or take a bad step.

“It had nothing to do with the horse,” Mori said through Hunter, who serves as his interpreter. “He breezed well. Luckily, or unluckily, the rider fell off after the goal, just after the finish line, after he finished his workout.”

France Go de Ina, who finished sixth in the March UAE Derby (G2) in Dubai after winning two of three starts in Japan, was timed in 49.40 seconds. Having a workout three days before a major race is not common in the United States, but Hunter said it’s quite common in Japan.

She also said that after an exercise rider falls or is thrown from a horse in Japan, things are different.

“In Japan, there are no outriders,” Hunter said, “So, they kind of let the horse stop and the guy who fell off has to go catch it.”

Mori said this incident will not affect Preakness preparations for the rest of the week. France Go de Ina is scheduled to school in the Preakness starting gate on Friday.

After he walked back to the barn with Takano on his back, France Go de Ina did his normal hour of walking at the isolation barn following his visit to the track.

“We are just very happy that the horse is OK,” Mori said.

The post France Go De Ina ‘Fine’ After Eventful Morning At Pimlico appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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