Two more horses die after workouts at Del Mar racecourse

By JEFF NAHILL jnahill@nctimes.com

DEL MAR — Two more thoroughbreds were fatally injured during training hours on Monday, bringing the total number of deaths during Del Mar’s meet to 10, track officials confirmed on Wednesday.

Rejuvenating, an unraced 2-year-old filly trained by Jenine Sahadi, suffered a condylar fracture to her right front leg after completing a 6-furlong workout on Del Mar’s Polytrack.

Point Guard, a 3-year-old son of Afleet Alex trained by Eoin Harty, suffered a right front ankle injury after a 5-furlong workout.

The two deaths were the fifth and sixth during morning training hours. Two other horses died as a result of accidents during races on Polytrack, and two others as a result of injuries suffered on the turf course.

“We don’t see any similarities,” track CEO Joe Harper said. “I haven’t had anyone come to me and say this track is breaking down horses. I wish I knew the answer and we could do something about it.”

Harper said he has talked to horsemen and exercise riders, and they are in agreement that the Polytrack is “good.” Harper also said Polytrack superintendent Richard Tedesco has canvassed numerous barns asking questions.

“He’s the most visible guy I’ve seen,” Harper said. “The only thing that we have come up with is that when you race in the afternoon, you have to be checked by three vets and there is a lot less potential for a sore horse to get on the track.

“No one is looking at them in the mornings, plus there are some 1,800 horses on this track in the mornings.”

Rejevenating was a $5,000 yearling purchase, who had just finished her seventh workout at Del Mar. The daughter of Kafwain worked 6 furlongs in 1 minute, 15.30 seconds.

Point Guard worked 5 furlongs in 1:04.60. It was his second workout on the Polytrack. He finished fifth in his career debut at Hollywood Park, earning $1,000.

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7 thoughts on “Two more horses die after workouts at Del Mar racecourse”

  1. Well, most of the posters here seem to know what the probable problems are….sad that Mr. Harper doesn’t get it (and Del Mar is one of the higher level tracks…can you imagine what goes on at the dump and fair ground tracks).

    (1) Racing too young;
    (2) meds;
    (3) speed, speed, speed;
    (4) lousy living conditions for racers (no turn out, confined, limited/short term workouts);
    (5) trainers that have toooo many horses and not enough hands on time (Mr. Harty is supposed to be pretty good though);
    (6) no reward in the purse game for longevity past 4 years and toooo much quick to the breeding shed for injured sires and dams;
    (7) poor conditioning, because it takes toooo much time and costs tooo much.

    Tell me what I left out?

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    1. Heres one thing thats I consider a good thing, most Race Tracks in Ohio now attached to many Contracts that Owners sign ,There is now a Clause they sign that no horse leaves said Race Track in the back of a slaughter truck this was adopted 4 yrs ago in Ohio and 1 track in West Virginia Mountaineer Race Track….. and lots of other Tracks….1 penalty is Owners will never be allowed to Race there horses at said track if they are caught……. Thousands of horse s reside at Americas Race Tracks, Racing does need lots of reform and they realize this and are starting to more forward on it…. Most Racehorse owners do love there horses I have visited many barns at Thistledown ,most owners and , but lots treat them like a businesses. also ……. We all must remember that in defense of horse racing where would they go? At least they have homes there and they are needed…. Lets go for the reform of it, keep the need for them…..to be……….After all they were born to run they love it, and they are competitive also ,they love to win and they know when they do win….

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  2. Rules are made for the people who have no commonsense to use good judgement in making a decision, but also need enforcement, we can make all the rules we want if no one enforces them what good are they??????? Racing needs lots of reform, but i believe they are starting to realize this, the very Future of Racing is at Stake, Officials need to take a good hard look and do what is needed Now……………………. For the Safety of all both concerned Jockey and horse

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  3. I feel the breeding and early racing has an awful lot to do with this problem, as well. That should be blamed more than the track, in my estimation.

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  4. greedy b***s, from one thing that’s too young to be raced regardless of what’s gone on for years, second, over breeding, and not keeping GOOD records of frailtys in horses like weak bones,or have they ever done that? 4 Stop using grants money to breed more. You guys have enough horses now you throw them away, they are being starved, sold to killbuyers for eating. SHAME on you all!!!!
    “Animals are God’s creatures, not human property, nor utilities, nor resources, nor commodities, but precious beings in God’s sight…Christians whose eyes are fixed on the awfulness of crucifixion are in a special position to understand the awfulness of innocent suffering. The Cross of Christ is God’s absolute identification with the weak, the powerless, and the vulnerable, but most of all with unprotected, undefended, innocent suffering.”— Reverend Andrew Linzey

    “Animals have done us no harm and they have no power of resistance.…There is something so very dreadful…in tormenting those who have never harmed us, who cannot defend themselves, who are utterly in our power.”—Cardinal John Henry Newman

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  5. This sounds like a bone thinning disease. I wonder if any vet ever checks calcium levels in any of these horses blood? Somebody sure should. If three vets checked them out they are not checking very close.

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    1. it looks to me that they are not checking for the right things, if they are experienced Vets they need to immediately find a better method and different rules , whatever they are using does not work………………….Another point why are 2 yr olds being allowed to race, their tiny bones are not near enough developed or strong enough yet to take the pounding pressure of the race track………………………. Geeze its all about the Money isnt it……Racing is the Sport of Kings not idiots, they should all get a damn clue……….

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