Following 3rd horse death in 3 days at Santa Anita, toll reaches 42 over 13 months

Santa Anita, the home of the 2019 Breeders' Cup, had three horses die in three days this week. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

A third horse has died in a span of three days at Santa Anita, the Los Angeles race track that made headlines last year when 37 horses died.

Tikkun Olam was euthanized Sunday with undisclosed injuries after the 4-year-old gelding collided with another horse during training hours, per ESPN. The other horse was reportedly not injured. Tikkun Olam is trained by Eric Kruljac and had one win in nine career starts, earning $40,743 according to ESPN.

Harliss, a 6-year-old gelding trained by Val Brinkerhoff, was euthanized Friday for a broken right front ankle after finishing seventh among eight horses in a turf race. The horse won once in 12 starts with career earnings of $23,026, per the Associated Press.

Uncontainable broke its right front ankle on Saturday and had to be euthanized. The 5-year-old gelding trained by Peter Miller had won three races in 11 starts and earned $24,890, per AP.

There have been five deaths at Santa Anita in less than a month, with the first occurring Dec. 26. It was two days before the winter/spring session kicked off and is in addition to the 37 deaths at the track in 2019.

Mongolian Groom, a 4-year-old gelding, was euthanized after breaking his left hind leg during the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic in November. In announcing the death, the Breeders’ Cup noted it had worked with the track to “promote enhanced equine safety.”

While activists have been loud in denouncing the sport of horse racing, the numbers from Santa Anita are unfortunately small in comparison to other famous race tracks. From a Yahoo Sports story in October, there were 2.04 horse deaths per 1,000 starts at Santa Anita in 2018 compared to 2.7 at Kentucky Derby’s Churchill Downs.

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