27th horse death is reported since Santa Anita meet opened
LOS ANGELES — A 27th horse has died since Santa Anita opened its meeting on Dec. 26 after the colt River Derby sustained a catastrophic injury while training Wednesday morning. After six weeks without a death, there have been four fatalities since May 17.
River Derby, an unraced 2-year-old bought in March for $50,000 at a sale in Florida, fractured a shoulder while galloping, according to his trainer, Ruben Gomez.
The horse was euthanized at a clinic in Chino, so it was unclear whether the death would technically be called a Santa Anita fatality. However, Mike Marten, California Horse Racing Board spokesman, said “in the interest of full transparency, we will be treating it as an on-track training death and do a full necropsy and count it in the statistics.”
Gomez was obviously still pained by the incident when contacted on Thursday.
“I sent her to hospital but there was nothing they could do to save him,” Gomez said. “It can be a common injury in babies. He just came up from Florida.”
Gomez said the horse was sent to Chino Valley Equine Hospital because the clinic has the reputation of having the best specialist in regard to River Derby’s type of injury.