SAN DIEGO - An animal rights group is seeking veterinary records of 16 thoroughbreds who died at the Del Mar racetrack during the summer meet, the group announced Tuesday, a couple days before the inaugural fall horse racing season kicks off.
Del Mar officials said 16 horses died during the summer racing season from either injures or natural causes.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is calling on the Del Mar Board of Stewards and the California Horse Racing Board to release all Veterinary Records of those horses who died.
"One horse is one too many, but 16 needs more than a cursory look," said Kathy Guillermo, Senior Vice President of PETA. "It needs a really serious investigation and we’re not going to find answers unless we see those veterinary records."
Guillermo told Fox 5 last year PETA conducted it's own undercover investigation of a horse trainer and found various drugs and painkillers used to keep sore horses running.
"When they have underlying injuries, that keep horses training and racing, when instead they should be resting and recovering," said Guillermo.
The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club official Mark McBride told Fox5 it's up to the trainers and horse owners to release veterinary records. Fox 5 also reached out to an owner who lost a horse this summer a response, we did not hear back.
The inaugural Del Mar Bing Crosby season is set to debut Friday and will run through the end of the month.