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Racehorse deaths continue despite increased safety measures


Two at Santa Anita, one at Los Alamitos

At the beginning of the week, three more racehorses had died from racing or training injuries at Southland tracks.

Two of the fatal injuries occurred at Santa Anita, and one at Los Alamitos, the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) reported.

Twentyseventrouts, a 6-year-old bay mare with eight career starts and one first-place finish, was leading the third race on July 2 at Los Alamitos Race Course when she suffered a catastrophic injury down the stretch and fell face-first to the turf.

She is the eighth horse to die from a racing or training injury at the Cypress track this calendar year.

Classic Coyne, a 4-year-old dark brown filly with 11 career starts and one first-place finish, died Sunday after suffering an injury while training at Santa Anita.

July 2 was also the day of her last posted workout, at five furlongs on the dirt track, according to the industry website Equibase. Her death is listed as non-musculoskeletal, with the official cause still pending, according to the CHRB.

Animae, a 2-year-old bay filly who never raced, died on July 1 from a training injury suffered at Santa Anita. She also had a workout that day, running three furlongs on the dirt training track. Her death is listed as musculoskeletal, with the cause pending.

Santa Anita has now had 11 racehorses die from racing or training injuries in 2023.

The latest fatalities come two days after the CHRB said increased safety measures led to a decline in the number of horses who died from racing and training injuries at board-sanctioned tracks during the 2022-23 fiscal year.

The board said 26 horses died as a result of musculoskeletal injuries in the fiscal year ending June 30, compared with 39 the previous year.

“That's still too many fatalities, but it shows that all of the new regulations, policies, and procedures that we've introduced in cooperation with the industry have had a significant effect,’’ CHRB Chairman Greg Ferraro said. “Our efforts are focused primarily on preventable injuries, and that's what the numbers reflect. I don't know of any racing jurisdiction in the country that even comes close to matching this effort or result.’’