Horse No. 24 Dies at Southern Calif. Racetrack

Commander Coil was euthanized after rare shoulder injury at Santa Anita Park
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 18, 2019 6:30 AM CDT
Horse No. 24 Dies at Southern Calif. Racetrack
Contenders compete in the $100,000 Crystal Water Stakes on April 27, 2019, at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif.   (Benoit Photo via AP)

Since Christmas there have been 23 horse deaths at Santa Anita Park. Now, make it 24. A statement from the Stronach Group, which owns the track, notes that Commander Coil, a 3-year-old gelding, was put down after an unusual shoulder injury sustained during training Friday morning—the first horse death at the Southern California track since March 31, the AP reports. "Equine shoulder injuries are rare, especially for a horse that is galloping as opposed to breezing or racing," the organization noted, per NBC News. "A comprehensive evaluation will be completed to understand what might have caused this uncommon injury."

The track had temporarily shuttered earlier this year due to all of the horse deaths. The New York Times notes there was a second horse death on Friday, this time at Baltimore's Pimlico, which is also owned by the Stronach Group. Congrats Gal, a 3-year-old filly, died a "sudden death" after coming in last in the Miss Preakness Stakes, held the night before the Preakness itself. The Jockey Club's Equine Injury Database cites stats that indicate the fatality rate for US horses is from two and a half to five times greater than anywhere else in the world. Both horses will receive a necropsy. (Read more horse racing stories.)

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