Citing California Horse Racing Board and Daily Racing Form data, The Washington Post reported on June 18 that at least 74 horses have died in trainer Bob Baffert’s care in California since 2000, trailing only two other trainers in the state.
The Post’s analysis concluded that Baffert trainees have died at the highest rate per starts of the 10 trainers with the most horse deaths there, an occurrence rate of 8.3 deaths per 1,000 starts. The figures include deaths from illnesses in addition to breakdowns.
The Post acknowledged the potential for some inaccuracy in the figures it collected from the CHRB, writing that at least one death of a Baffert horse identified by the publication was not included in the regulator’s statistics.
Washington Post: The Dark Side of Bob Baffert’s Reign
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“No horse-loving person like Bob or his entire team accepts the reality of a horse death with anything other than sadness and despair,” the lawyers said in their statement to the Post. “In each instance, the death is investigated. Every investigation over the past 20 years has reached the same conclusion: no rules or regulations have been violated nor has there been any improper activity on Bob’s part.”
Pass the sick bag.