36th racehorse dies at Santa Anita since Dec. 26

ARCADIA, Calif. — Another racehorse was killed at Santa Anita Park Sunday, the second horse death there this weekend and the 36th horse to die at the troubled track since Dec. 26.

Bye Bye Beautiful, a 2-year-old filly making just her second career start, suffered a foreleg injury less than a half-mile from the wire in Sunday’s third race and was euthanized, according to Steve Andersen of The Daily Racing Form.

“As mandated by the California Horse Racing Board, Bye Bye Beautiful will undergo a necropsy at the University of California Davis School of Veterinary Medicine,” according to an official statement from The Stronach Group, which owns the track. ” …The thoughts of the team at The Stronach Group and Santa Anita go out to everyone who cared for the filly, including trainer J. Eric Kruljac and his staff.”

The death was the fourth during Santa Anita Park’s fall meet, which began Sept. 27. The 5-year-old gelding Ky. Colonel collapsed and died from an apparent heart attack jogging on the inner training track Oct. 6. Satchel Paige, a 3-year-old gelding, was euthanized after breaking his left front ankle during a race Oct. 19. And on Friday, a 6-year-old mare named GQ Covergirl injured her front two legs while running on the training track and was euthanized.

The track — and the sport in general — has been under heavy scrutiny since the rash of deaths at Santa Anita started garnering more media attention this year than in seasons past.

The California Horse Racing Board announced Thursday it will issue a report in December on the racing and training fatalities during Santa Anita Park’s winter/spring seasons that could provide strategies to avoid similar equine injuries.

Veterinary personal, safety stewards and others involved in track safety have been accumulating and analyzing the information to come to an understanding of how each death occurred in order to identify any common characteristics or causes and develop strategies for preventing similar injuries in the future, according to Mike Marten, the public information officer for the California Horse Racing Board.

Board investigators have issued more than 120 subpoenas for records and are continuing to review all cases for any CHRB rule or criminal violations, Marten said. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office has undertaken a parallel investigation.

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