Third horse in nine days dies at Santa Anita, 26th since Dec. 26

Yahoo Sports Contributor
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Justify, ridden by Mike Smith, gallops past Bolt d'Oro, left, with jockey Javier Castellano, during the Santa Anita Derby horse race at Santa Anita on Saturday, April 7, 2018, in Arcadia, Calif. (AP)
Justify, ridden by Mike Smith, gallops past Bolt d'Oro, left, with jockey Javier Castellano, during the Santa Anita Derby horse race at Santa Anita on Saturday, April 7, 2018, in Arcadia, Calif. (AP)

A third horse in the past nine days has died at the Santa Anita racetrack, according to a report from the Los Angeles Times.

The horse, named Kochees, sustained an injury to his front leg on Saturday during a race. Because the injury was not a fracture, surgery that would end the horse’s racing career but preserve his life was an option.

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It was discovered during surgery on Sunday that the horse had lost blood flow to the injured leg. A decision to euthanize was then made.

26th death overall since Dec. 26

Kochees death marked the 26th overall horse death at the famed Santa Anita track since Dec. 26. All 26 horses have died either racing or in training.

The track went a little over a month without having a fatality before experiencing three in the past nine days.

On March 31, Arms Runner was euthanized after a fall on the course, but it wasn’t until May 17 that another horse had died when Commander Coil was injured training.

Spectacular Music was euthanized two days later on May 19 and now Kochees on May 26.

Kochees is the third horse to die under trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, per the Los Angeles Times. Hollendorfer’s first horse died in December of last year with another passing in February of this year.

The large amount of fatalities has created conversation and concern surrounding the sport and its treatment of horses.

Santa Anita will play host to the Breeders’ Cup on Nov. 1-2.


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