The race track just outside of Los Angeles is busy preparing for the high profile event due to take place at the road next month, the Breeders’ Cup, but it all is shadowed by the death of yet another horse at the track despite investigations from the government. The end of another horse over the weekend brought the Santa Anita Racetrack death toll now to a shocking 34 in a period less than a year since last December.
The track has been submitted to government investigation for a while already utilizing a criminal investigation run by the Los Angeles district attorney’s office. Threats of shutting down the tracks if the industry fails to clean up their act had been aired by the local Californian Governor, Gavin Newsom as well.
The Death of Satchel Paige
Satchel Paige is the 3-year-old gelding that broke his front left ankle and had to be euthanized by the doctors. According to The Stronach Group, the owners of the track, Satchel Paige was pulled up at the 3/8th pole of the race. He was then transported via the equine ambulance. The horse had an open fracture on his left front ankle. Dr Dana Stead heading the group of veterinarians, they decided that the only solution was to euthanize the injured animal. Ruben Fuentes, the jockey of Satchel Paige was fortunately not injured in the incident.
The Chief Veterinarian of The Stronach Group, Dr Dionne Benson stated that a necropsy would be done on the horse on behalf of the California Horse Racing Board. The University Of California Davis School Of Veterinary Medicine will take responsibility for the necropsy. This procedure is mandatory to follow any on-track accidents. Once the results are available, it will be analyzed along with the details of the accident to determine whether the accident could have been prevented and what can to done to avoid a repeat of the same kind of incident. Throughout the entire process Santa Anita, as well as the California Horse Racing Board, will work closely with each other to investigate the incident. They will always keep their stakeholders as well as the public up to date with new developments in the process as well as when any further information comes to light.
Santa Anita’s Deadly History
Even though deaths on the track have generally been on the decline over the past five years, statistics still reveal that Santa Anita remains the deadliest track of them all. Therefore the park has been closed in March this year already after the death of 20 horses in a timeframe of merely three months. During the period various changes have been made to the park before opening up again later that same month. Even trainers have been under investigation to determine if they have any role to play in these accidents. Yet so far, they haven’t been able to put an end to all these deaths. For now, the Breeders’ Cup will still stay at Santa Anita.