Barn fire at Belmont Park kills 2 race horses

·1 min read
A sign is seen at Belmont Park on June 6, 2014 in Elmont, New York.  On Saturday, June 7, California Chrome will attempt to win the triple crown with a win in the Belmont Stakes.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Two horses died in a fire at Belmont Park Tuesday. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

A fire broke out in a barn along the back stretch of Belmont Park Tuesday night, killing two of the 60 horses stabled there. 

The fire started around 6 p.m. ET at the Long Island track that hosts the third leg of thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown, according to the Associated Press. The New York Racing Association reports that it safely evacuated 58 horses, but that two perished in the fire. 

No human injuries or deaths were reported.

"The tragic loss of both horses will be deeply felt by the hard-working women and men of the New York racing community, who dedicate themselves to the sport and to the care of these equine athletes,” NYRA president and CEO Dave O’Rourke said, per a statement. “That collective dedication and sense of community was on display this evening, when the heroic and selfless response of so many prevented further loss and saved the lives of dozens of horses.”

Officials did not provide the identity of the horses that died, which were under the care of trainer Wayne Potts, according to the NYRA. Horses under the care of Potts and Jeffrey Englehart were among those evacuated.

Officials are investigating the cause of the fire, which was contained to a single barn after Elmont Fire Department responders extinguished the blaze. 

Belmont's racing season is scheduled to start on April 22. The Belmont Stakes is scheduled to run on June 5. 

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