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Racehorse Deaths at Del Mar Racetrack


On Sunday November 10, 2019, three more racehorses were injured at a California racetrack, this time at Del Mar Racetrack. The 2019 Bing Crosby fall racing season had begun on Friday November 8 and is scheduled through December 1, 2019.

The horses, Ghost Street, a maiden 3-year-old gelding making his fourth start, and Prayer Warrior, were the first and second deaths of the fall racing season. Both horses sustained inoperable fractures to their sesamoid bones, which are about the size of walnuts and located in the ankle joints of horses, said Dana Stead, Association Veterinarian for Del Mar Thoroughbred Club. 

Ghost Street was injured in the third race of the day, and had been competing on the grass course.

Prayer Warrior was euthanized after the sixth race on the main track, according to the Del Mar Racetrack. Ghost Street was winless in four career starts with earnings of $6,311 for trainer Patrick Gallagher. Prayer Warrior had three wins in eight career starts and earnings of $37,501 for trainer Jeffrey Metz.

A third horse, Princess Dorian, suffered an injury to her left front leg in Sunday’s second race on the main track and was transported to a San Luis Rey Equine hospital for further care. She will be evaluated by an orthopedic surgeon, and surgery is the mostly likely option for the horse, according to Dana Stead, Association Veterinarian for Del Mar Thoroughbred Club. She is a 5-year-old mare with 23 career race starts.

During the track’s 2019 summer racing season, which ended on Sept. 2nd, four horses died in training accidents. On Aug. 12, a three-year-old filly named Bri Bri was euthanized after suffering a serious injury to her pelvis.

On July 30, a 3-year-old filly Bowl of Soul, trained by Bob Baffert and owned by Spendthrift Farm, was put down after a training injury to her back right fetlock.

On the second day of the summer season, two horses died following a head-on collision during training. One of the horses spooked and made a sudden U-turn and collided with another galloping in its direction. Both horses suffered cervical fractures and died on the racetrack. They were not euthanized, according to DMTC officials.

Update on Princess Dorian:

Fox5 News San Diego reported Nov. 18, 2019: “Princess Dorian suffered a leg fracture at Del Mar on Nov. 10 and was taken to the San Luis Rey Equine Hospital, which is adjacent to the San Luis Rey Downs training center. She underwent surgery the following day and her condition appeared to be improving – prior to the development of laminitis.

“As recently as Sunday, her trainer and co-owner Andrew Lerner had told the San Diego Union-Tribune that the horse was expected to make a full recovery.” reported that she was euthanized on Monday (Nov. 18) after developing acute laminitis in both hind legs.

Yet Another Racehorse Death

At Del Mar racetrack in San Diego, CA, Slewgoodtobetrue, a 3-year-old filly trained by Peter Eurton, collapsed and died in the barn area after a workout on Sunday morning, November 17, 2019, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune. She had six career starts (two wins) and last raced in April, finishing fourth in the Grade I Santa Anita Oaks.
 “In addition to Princess Dorian, seven horses have died while racing or training at Del Mar so far this year,” according to  Fox5 News San Diego.
McCullough, Sophia, Brenda Gregorio-Nieto, and AP. 2019. “2 Horses Die, Another Injured in 1 Day at Del Mar Racetrack.” NBC San Diego. Nov. 10.
CBS News. 2019. “2 race horses euthanized and 1 left injured at famed California track.” Nov. 11.
Leonard, Tod. 2019. “Riding crop debate should be hot topic at CHRB meeting.” The San Diego Union-Tribune. Nov. 17.
City News Service. “Del mar Racetrack Reports 2 More Horse Deaths.” 2019. Fox 5 San Diego. Nov. 18.
Houck, Kristina. 2019. “Two More Horses Die: Horse Death Toll Climbs At Del Mar.” Patch. Nov. 18.

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