36th horse dies at Santa Anita racetrack since December

Arcadia, Calif. —  A 2-year-old filly injured her right front leg less than a half-mile from the finish line in a race at Santa Anita and was euthanized. The horse’s death brings the total number of horse deaths at the Southern California track to 36 since Dec. 26 and 72 since the 2018 season, CBS Los Angeles.

The incident occurred in Sunday’s third race. It was the second fatality in three days and the fourth since the fall meet began Sept. 27.

Santa Anita is hosting the Breeders’ Cup world championships this week for a record 10th time.

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Bye Bye Beautiful was pulled up past the half-mile pole by jockey Tiago Pereira. Track veterinarian Dr. Dana Stead saw that the filly had sustained a right front leg lateral condylar fracture that involved the medial sesamoid bone. Because of the severity of the injury, Stead made the decision to euthanize the horse, according to a statement from The Stronach Group, which owns the track.

Pereira wasn’t injured.

Bye Bye Beautiful will undergo a necropsy at UC Davis, which is required by the California Horse Racing Board.

CBS Los Angeles reports Bye Bye Beautiful’s death prompted PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo to call for the district attorney’s office to release findings of its investigation into the horse deaths at Santa Anita and “hold those responsible accountable.”

“Santa Anita has taken extraordinary measures to protect horses, but it can’t criminally investigate trainers and veterinarians for the deaths of Bye Bye Beautiful and the other horses,” Guillermo said in a statement, “Law enforcement must do this… Further delay puts all the Breeders’ Cup horses at even greater risk.”

The filly was making her second start for trainer Eric Kruljac. She was fourth in her first start last month at Los Alamitos in Orange County.

On Friday, a 6-year-old mare named GQ Covergirl injured her front legs on the training track and was euthanized.

Ky. Colonel, a 5-year-old gelding, collapsed and died from an apparent heart attack while jogging on the training track Oct. 6.

Satchel Paige, a 3-year-old gelding, was euthanized after breaking his left front ankle during a race Oct. 19.

Animal-rights advocates protest the deaths of 23 racehorses in the first three months of this year at the Santa Anita Racetrack in Arcadia, Calif., on April 6, 2019. Getty

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