Two More Horses Die After Injuries at Santa Anita Park


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ARCADIA (CNS) - Two horses have been euthanized after suffering racing injuries at Santa Anita Park, state officials confirmed to City News Service Sunday.

The 3-year-old filly Decorated My Life was injured during Saturday's ninth race on the turf, requiring euthanasia, according to Mike Marten, public information officer for the California Horse Racing Board.

Also Saturday, the 3-year-old gelding Merit Song was injured during the fourth race on the main track at Santa Anita, requiring euthanasia.

Decorated My Life died on her third birthday. She had seven races and one first-place finish in her career.

Merit Song had nine races and one first-place finish in his career.

Decorated My Life's jockey, Joe Bravo, was taken to a hospital Saturday after he was unseated from the horse.

"He's in good spirits. He underwent some tests. Waiting for the results," his agent Matt Nakatan said, according to racing journalist Ray Paulick.

It's been a tough year so far for the Arcadia track. Counting Saturday's two deaths, six horses have died from racing or training injuries at Santa Anita in 2023.

Twelve racehorses died at Santa Anita in 2022, according to the CHRB.

Santa Anita officials have said they've made major improvements in horse safety after 2019, when 42 horses died at the track, sparking widespread debate about safety issues at Santa Anita and about horse-racing in general. The uproar led to procedural and veterinary oversight changes at the park.

After the completion of Santa Anita's winter-spring season last June, track officials hailed what they called major improvements in horse safety, and called the facility the safest track in North America compared to those with similar racing and training activity.

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