A third horse has died at Del Mar Racetrack less than two weeks into its summer season, the Associated Press reported Wednesday.
The fatality, the second for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, was only acknowledged after an inquiry by the Los Angeles Times.
Third horse dies at Del Mar
Bowl of Soul, a 3-year-old filly, injured her right hind fetlock, the hinged joint above the hoof, during training on Monday. Jockey Joe Talamo told the Los Angeles Times he felt her leg act differently and quickly held her in place so she wouldn’t move.
Bowl of Soul was euthanized, officials told the Times and AP.
Said Baffert via the L.A. Times:
“She was working well and she was coming into the turn and went to switch leads when she suffered a rare twist of a hind ankle. You just can’t predict these tings happening. You work so hard to keep them healthy. It’s so tough on everybody.”
The horse had not raced at Del Mar and Baffert told the Times he planned to run her this weekend. She won her first race at Santa Anita on May 27 and finished second in a race June 23, the final day at a track that had 30 horse deaths this season.
Second horse dies from Baffert’s barn
Two horses collided in a freak training accident on the second day of the season at Del Mar. Charge A Bunch threw his jockey and turned sharply during a training session, colliding with Baffert’s horse, Carson Valley.
Carson Valley threw his trainer, who was taken to the hospital and diagnosed with a bruised lower back. The horses reportedly died on impact.
Del Mar was one of the safest race tracks in 2018, according to the Equine Injury Database. There were three fatalities in 3,812 starts. The site’s statistics do not include training fatalities.
Del Mar introduced new safety measures in early July similar to those used at Santa Anita. There is a five-member panel that reviews medical, training and racing records of every horse and medication rules were extended.
Deaths in horse racing took a renewed focus with the issues at Santa Anita and other reports followed. A report earlier in July put the East Coast in the conversation; it found 10 horses died within nine days at four race tracks across New York. The report found 50 horses died since Jan. 2 in New York, including 21 at Belmont Park.
Belmont is one of the deadliest tracks with 436 deaths since 2009.
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