Another horse dies at Santa Anita, bringing death toll at the racetrack to 31 since December

Another horse has died at the thoroughbred racetrack Santa Anita Park. On Monday, Zeke, a 4-year-old gelding, suffered a pelvic fracture on the training track, which is known as the safest at the racetrack. Veterinarians decided euthanasia was the best option after trying to save the horse, according to the Los Angeles Times

Dr. Dionne Benson, chief veterinarian for The Stronach Group, spoke about the incident:

"Everyone at Santa Anita and throughout The Stronach Group is devastated by the loss. We are carefully reviewing what factors could have contributed to Zeke's injury. Santa Anita will continue to work closely with the California Horse Racing Board and will continue to be transparent with our stakeholders and all of our constituents, including the public, as more facts come in."

Zeke is the 31st horse to die at Santa Anita since since December. The large death toll has been cause for scrutiny towards the racetrack, which is located just outside Los Angeles.

Benson said Zeke is set to undergo necropsy at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, a mandatory procedure for any on-track accidents, and the findings from the reports will be reviewed by the California Horse Racing Board. 

The racetrack was temporarily shut down in March and reopened with a new drainage system and a ban on drugs and whips. In June, California governor Gavin Newsome authorized a suspension of horse racing at Santa Anita Park after 30 horse deaths in less than six months. That month, the track also fired Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. 

Before Zeke's death, officials say Santa Anita had not experienced an incident in 1,304 workouts. Santa Anita will open their fall racing meet on Friday, Sept. 27.

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