Two more horses die following injuries at Santa Anita Park

NBC LOS ANGELES reported on February 12, 2023:

Two horses have been euthanized after suffering racing injuries at Santa Anita Park, state officials confirmed to City News Service Sunday.

The 3-year-old filly Decorated My Life was injured during Saturday’s ninth race on the turf, requiring euthanasia, according to Mike Marten, public information officer for the California Horse Racing Board. 

Also Saturday, the 3-year-old gelding Merit Song was injured during the fourth race on the main track at Santa Anita, requiring euthanasia. 

Decorated My Life died on her third birthday. She had seven races and one first-place finish in her career. Merit Song had nine races and one first-place finish in his career. 

Counting Saturday’s two deaths, six horses have died from racing or training injuries at Santa Anita in 2023.

Twelve racehorses died at Santa Anita in 2022, according to the CHRB.

Then there is this:

After the completion of Santa Anita’s winter-spring season last June, track officials hailed what they called major improvements in horse safety, and called the facility the safest track in North America compared to those with similar racing and training activity.

The CHRB reported the following horses were killed while racing at Santa Anita over the past five years:

36 in 2018
42 in 2019
16 in 2020
19 in 2021
12 in 2022

The Mercury News reported the following on March 14, 2022:

Santa Anita had 24 and 16 deaths during the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons, respectively. That’s down from 49 deaths in 2018-19 and from a high of 71 in 2011-12, the track’s worst year from 1997 to 2021. Santa Anita’s general manager, Nate Newby, could not be reached for comment.”

“The deaths of 23 horses in less than three months at Santa Anita in winter 2019 cast a harsh national spotlight on equine fatalities and a shadow over the future of horse racing in the state.”

“Public outcry became so great that insiders feared horse racing’s days in California were numbered.”

The LAist reports:

The horse racing facility at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia has reported six horse deaths since Jan. 1, already reaching half the total for 2022 in just the first six weeks of this year.

Of the six horses that have died this year, four were from bone injuries, which the sport has been trying to reduce, according to Mike Marten, a spokesperson from the California Horse Racing Board.

“Bone injuries [are] the ones we find unacceptable,” he said.

The other two fatalities were sudden deaths, the causes of which are often difficult to determine.

Kill racing not horses.

Featured Image: Medina Spirit, who collapsed and died following a workout at Santa Anita. (Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Tuesday’s Horse

Official Blog of The Fund for Horses

4 thoughts on “Two more horses die following injuries at Santa Anita Park”

  1. The 3 year old filly Decorated My Life was clearly lame when making her way to the gates. Jockey would’ve known she wasn’t right. Trainer would’ve also seen that she was lame. Stewards, the raceday veterinarian and others watching her parade pre-race would’ve seen that she was lame.
    But, they all let her start.
    And of course it would’ve been no surprise to them that she suffered a catastrophic injury during the race and DIED.
    They don’t give a damn about these poor horses.
    Never have and never will.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Horseracing Wrongs has a video of Decorated showing he was lame immediately before the race. How did they let him into the starting gate? Because it’s horse racing that’s why.

    Liked by 2 people

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