Santa Anita Park can’t stop killing horses.
The California track closed for nearly a month to investigate why so many race horses were breaking down. Two days after it reopened for racing, another horse died, the 23rd since December 26.
The accident happened when one horse tumbled into another turning a corner in the $100,000 San Simeon Stakes. Luckily, the horse that injured its foot on the turn, Arms Runner, did not fatally injure the other horse.
Before Sunday’s fatality, a potential Derby horse was knocked off the trail while training at Santa Anita. Gunmetal Gray was in Derby contention after finishing fourth in the Rebel Stakes, until it was injured in a”breeze” at the park last week.
During the almost one-month track closure, officials failed to specifically discover what was causing the multiple catastrophic injuries. They banned the use of Lasix on race days and proposed banning whips. Neither measure worked because it’s obvious something is wrong with the track.
Unfortunately, they’ve still proposed no new changes to the track before Saturday’s Santa Anita Derby. Bob Baffert’s favorite Derby prep race, Roadster and Game Winner are just a few of the sport’s potential stars running on the dangerous track a month before the Kentucky Derby.
I can’t understand why anyone would run a million dollar horse at Santa Anita. Scheduled to host the Breeders’ Cup this fall, hopefully the billionaire owners opt to protect their investment by lobbying for a change in venue.