Two horses died at Santa Anita this weekend, state officials said today.
Barraza, who had five first-place finishes in 14 career races, suffered an injury during a Saturday morning workout that required euthanasia, according to California Horse Racing Board spokesman Mike Marten. The colt had won three of his four races this year, all of which were at Santa Anita.
The colt died was just one day after 4-year-old filly Pray for My Owner suffered a “sudden death” immediately following Friday’s seventh race. Three horses have died at Santa Anita in less than a week, and a total of eight horses have died at the Arcadia track so far this year.
“We are disappointed to see another spike in racehorse deaths at Santa Anita Park this week and hope this pattern does not continue,” Marty Irby, executive director of Animal Wellness Action, said. The group lobbies to stamp out cruelty in American horse racing.
Despite the recent spate in racehorse deaths at the track, the number of fatalities this year is still down from 2019, when 42 horses died at the track and led to an uproar about safety issues at the track. Since then, procedural and veterinary oversight changes were made at Santa Anita.
According to the California Horse Racing Board, 16 horses died at Santa Anita in 2020, and that number went up to 19 last year.