U.S. NEWS

33 Horses Have Died At Santa Anita Racetrack Since December

Ky. Colonel, a 5-year-old gelding, died of a suspected heart attack on Saturday. It was the third equine death at the California racetrack in three weeks.

Another racehorse has died at California’s embattled Santa Anita Park.

Ky. Colonel, a 5-year-old gelding, died of a suspected heart attack at the thoroughbred racetrack on Saturday after going for a jog on the training track, the horse’s trainer Richard Mandella confirmed to The Associated Press.

It was the second fatality in Mandella’s barn and the 33rd death at the racetrack since December. 

Speaking to the AP, Mandella described the gelding’s death as “devastating.” 

“I can only remember one other heart attack in 40 years of training,” the trainer said.

Ky. Colonel, who will undergo a mandatory necropsy to confirm the cause of death, is the third equine fatality at Santa Anita in just under three weeks.

Zeke, a 4-year-old gelding, was euthanized in mid-September after suffering a pelvic fracture on the training track. Twelve days later, a 3-year-old colt named Emtech was euthanized on the track after breaking both of his front legs during a race.

Santa Anita, considered one of the most renowned racetracks in the U.S., has come under intense scrutiny this year for the rash of equine deaths.

State regulators and the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office have launched investigations into the fatalities. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed a bill in June giving authority to the California Horse Racing Board to suspend a race meet license to protect the health and safety of horses or riders. 

Following Zeke’s death last month, Newsom warned that “time is up” for horse racing in California unless the sport undergoes significant reform.

“Incredible abuses to these precious animals and the willingness to just to spit these animals out and literally take their lives is a disgrace,” Newsom told The New York Times.

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