27th horse death is re­ported since Santa Anita meet opened

Lodi News-Sentinel - - SPORTS - — John Cherwa, Los An­ge­les

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.

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