ARCADIA (CBSLA) — Another horse died Tuesday at Santa Anita Park, marking the 31st horse fatality at the track since Dec. 26 and the 67th death dating back to the 2018 season.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Zeke, a 4-year-old gelding trained by Dean Pederson, was euthanized after suffering from a pelvic fracture after being pulled up while working on the training track.
“Veterinarians tried to save the horse but at 11 p.m. decided that euthanasia was the best option,” the Times reported.
Zeke is said to be the fifth training death in Southern California since Santa Anita’s racing season ended on June 23. Four horses died during training during Del Mar’s seven-week meeting, the Times reported.
Racing at Santa Anita was temporarily suspended in February – following the 19th horse death — and again for most of March – following the 21st horse death — so experts could conduct testing on the park’s three tracks – the main, training and turf tracks — to try and pinpoint the issue. None of the horse deaths have occurred on the training track.
On March 31, just two days after racing had resumed, a 5-year-old gelding named Arms Runner had to be euthanized after being injured during a race when he fell following a collision with another horse while both were transitioning from the turf course to dirt.
In April, a series of new measures were put in place to bolster horse safety, including restriction on medicating before racing.
California Governor Gavin Newsom called for a temporary end to horse races at Santa Anita Park after two more horses were euthanized earlier this month.
“I continue to be troubled by the horse deaths at Santa Anita Park,” Newsom said. “Enough is enough.”
Newsom went on to say that there shouldn’t be any races until the horses are examined by independent veterinarians and found fit to compete.
According to documents obtained by CBS2’s David Goldstein, 36 additional horses had to be euthanized after racing or training accidents at Santa Anita during the 2018 racing season.