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32nd horse dies at Santa Anita racetrack after breaking front legs

2019-09-30

A 3-year-old colt named Emtech was euthanized Saturday after breaking its two front legs in the eighth race of the day at Santa Anita racetrack in California.

It was the 32nd horse to die at the track in training or during a horse race since Dec. 26, 2018.

Two-time Kentucky Derby-winning jockey Mario Gutierrez was tossed from the horse in the incident and landed near the inner rail. He was uninjured but taken away in an ambulance as a precaution.

Gutierrez, a 32-year-old native of Mexico, won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness in 2012 aboard I’ll Have Another and the Derby in 2016 with Nyquist.

Track veterinarian Dr. Dana Stead said in a statement that she made the decision to euthanize the horse.

Dr. Dionne Benson, chief vet for The Stronach Group, which owns Santa Anita, said the horse’s death will be investigated and any factors that contributed to its death will be addressed.

PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo said the horse racing industry was only making things worse for itself by not adopting safer practices.

“Tragically, we have no answers, no mandate for the use of CT scan technology to detect the preexisting injuries that cause broken ankles, no switch to safer synthetic tracks — which PETA has requested — and no end in sight to the deaths,” Guillermo said.

“The horses may not get a funeral, but racing is certainly digging its own grave.”