After a period of six weeks with no fatalities at the Santa Anita racetrack in southern California where 26 horses have died in training incidents since December, officials confirmed Wednesday another fatality.
Trainer Ruben Gomez told the Los Angeles Times that his 2-year-old unraced colt was euthanized after suffering a fractured shoulder during training this week. He said that the horse, which was purchased in March for $50,000, was taken to an off-site clinic that he was told had the best specialist for this kind of injury.
However, the hospital was unable to do anything for the life-ending injury.
There was some speculation over whether the colt’s death would be added to the growing number of fatalities at Santa Anita because it was euthanized off-site but California Horse Racing Board spokesman Mike Marten told the Times that they would attribute the death to the race track.
“In the interest of full transparency, we will be treating it as an on-track training death and do a full necropsy and count it in the statistics.”
Following the last death of a gelding who was put down after sustaining a leg injury on May 28, lawmakers and advocacy groups called for an investigation into the track to see if there was a possible safety protocol breach leading up to its death.
The latest fatality marks the 27th death at the race track since the season began on December 26.