ARCADIA, CALIF. - A 3-year-old colt sustained a catastrophic injury in the eighth race at Santa Anita and was euthanized Saturday, the 32nd horse to die at the track since December.
Two-time Kentucky Derby-winning jockey Mario Gutierrez was tossed off in the incident on the second day of the fall meet at Santa Anita, where the Breeders’ Cup world championships are to be run in November.
Track officials said Gutierrez wasn’t injured after landing near the inner rail. He was taken away by ambulance.
Track veterinarian Dr. Dana Stead said in a statement that Emtech had two broken front legs and she made the decision to euthanize the colt on the track.
Dr. Dionne Benson, chief vet for The Stronach Group, which owns Santa Anita, said a review would be opened to consider the factors that contributed to Emtech’s injury.
She said the colt would have a necropsy at the University of California Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, which is mandatory for all on-track accidents.
Emtech, trained by Steve Knapp, went down in the middle of the track in the upper stretch of the six-furlong, $40,000 claiming race.
The fatalities at Santa Anita since Dec. 26 have raised alarm within California and the rest of the racing industry. The majority occurred during the winter months when usually arid Santa Anita was hit with record rainfall totaling nearly a foot.