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Horse euthanized after training incident at Santa Anita

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Posted at 4:52 PM, Sep 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-18 19:52:30-04

A 4-year-old gelding was euthanized at Santa Anita after breaking its pelvis during training hours.

Santa Anita officials on Tuesday confirmed the fatality of the gelding named Zeke, who was injured a day earlier. The horse was pulled up after his rider noticed a problem.

Track veterinarians diagnosed a pelvic fracture. The gelding was initially stable, but his condition deteriorated later on. The owner, in consultation with vets, determined that the injury wouldn’t be able to be repaired to support continual weight on all four of the horse’s legs, which is required for its survival.

Dr. Dionne Benson, chief veterinarian for The Stronach Group, which owns Santa Anita, said a mandatory necropsy will be performed by the veterinary school at UC Davis.

“Everyone at Santa Anita and throughout The Stronach Group is devastated by this loss,” Benson said. “We are carefully reviewing what factors could have contributed to Zeke’s injury.”

Benson said the incident and necropsy report will be reviewed by the California Horse Racing Board.

Zeke had two wins in 14 career starts and earnings of $71,360, according to Equibase. The gray gelding was claimed for $25,000 on Aug. 29 at Del Mar after he finished fifth in a race. He had yet to make a start under new trainer Dean Pederson.

Monday’s fatality was the second on Santa Anita’s training track this year.

Before the latest incident, there were 1,034 workouts without incident, officials said. Santa Anita opened for training after Del Mar’s summer meet ended earlier this month.

Earlier in the year, 30 horses died at the Arcadia, California, track during its winter-spring meet.

Live racing at Santa Anita resumes on Sept. 27 when the fall meet opens.

The track will host the Breeders’ Cup world championships for a record 10th time on Nov. 1-2.