A racehorse who escaped from a Maryland racecourse during morning training on Friday took an unscheduled run down US Route 1.
Bullet Catcher was seen by commuters in North Laurel heading south without his rider.
The 4-year-old from the Jerry Robb stable had tossed jockey Jeremy Rose while heading back to the barn after his morning workout and got loose.
The gelding, a son of Strong Hope, then made his way out of the stable gate, made a left on Whiskey Bottom Road and another left onto Route 1 before being caught, uninjured, after a 1.6 mile journey.
The trip included parts of Anne Arundel, Howard and Prince George’s Counties.
“You think you’ve seen it all,” said former rider Mark Rosenthal, who co-owns the gelding.
Jockey Abel Castellano captured part of the adventure down Route 1 on his mobile phone.
“I had finished working a horse and was coming to the jocks room when I saw a horse run by heading out of the stable gate,” Castellano said.
“I decided to follow the horse and maybe when he stopped I could catch him. All of a sudden we got to Route 1 and there was a red light. I saw the cars driving by and I said ‘oh my God, we’re going to have an accident’, but at that moment it changed to a green light to make a left and the horse just made a left.
“I went, ‘oh, we’re so lucky so far’, then we got the point where the road splits, you go right so that horse he keeps to the right, so we follow him. The horse is still running 30 miles an hour.
“Finally, he slowed down in front of the Chrysler dealership almost to Main Street and we were able to catch him. The story had a happy ending but it was scary.”
Trainer Charles “Snake” Frock was also part of the group that caught the Maryland-bred horse, who has one win and three on-the-board finishes in six lifetime starts.
“I have never seen anything like it and I have been at the racetrack for more than 50 years,” Frock saidd. “I was coming from the farm in Westminster and saw him on Whiskey Bottom Road and did a U-turn to try to help.
“My trailer was full with hay and I had another horse in the van. When we finally caught him we were able to bring him back to the track in my van. I told Robb later, ‘it’s unreal the horse galloped out the gate and all the way to Main Street on the blacktop and never shredded a shoe’. God was on his side.”
Robb indicated Bullet Catcher had some abrasions on his feet but he would not know the full extent of any injuries for a few days.