A horse was euthanized Saturday after breaking both front legs during a race at Southern California’s Santa Anita racetrack, becoming the 32nd to die at the track since December.
Emtech, a 3-year-old colt, fell to the ground during the 8th race on the second day of Santa Anita’s fall meet.
“As is protocol at Santa Anita, we will open an immediate review into what factors could have contributed to Emtech’s injury,” said Dr. Dionne Benson, chief veterinarian for the Stronach Group. “Santa Anita will work closely with the California Horse Racing Board and will continue to brief our stakeholders and all of our constituents.”
Benson said the horse will undergo a necropsy, mandatory for on-track deaths.
Emtech was euthanized on the track behind a green screen.
The racing death was the first in Southern California since Truffalino died on June 9 at Santa Anita. There were also six training deaths over the summer, four at Del Mar and two at Santa Anita.
The latest Santa Anita training death was on Sept. 16.
The unusually high number of deaths has put the racetrack (and horse racing in general) under scrutiny and has prompted some to call for the track’s closure.
Emtech’s jockey, two-time Kentucky Derby winner Mario Gutierrez, was thrown in the incident but uninjured.
The track will host the Breeder’s Cup the first weekend of November.