Arms Runner Becomes 23rd Horse to Die Since Dec. 26 at Santa Anita Race Track

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistApril 1, 2019

The Clockers' Corner area, the popular morning hangout for owners, trainers, jockeys and fans to watch workouts and grab breakfast, is empty at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., Thursday, March 7, 2019. Extensive testing of the dirt track is under way at eerily quiet Santa Anita, where the deaths of 21 thoroughbreds in two months has forced the indefinite cancellation of horse racing and thrown the workaday world of trainers, jockeys and horses into disarray. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
Damian Dovarganes/Associated Press

The death of horse Arms Runner overshadowed Sunday's San Simeon Stakes at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California, as he became the 23rd horse to die at the park since Dec. 26.

John Cherwa of the Los Angeles Times reported the news, noting Arms Runner fell during the Grade 3 race and was then euthanized after appearing to injure his right front leg. La Sardane tripped on Arms Runner but was able to get up.

Dr. Rick Arthur of the California Horse Racing Board confirmed the death.

Jockey Martin Pedroza was aboard Arms Runner and avoided serious injury, as did Ruben Fuentes aboard La Sardane.

According to Cherwa, 10 of the deaths at the track occurred during training on the dirt surface, seven occurred while racing on the dirt and now six have occurred during turf races.

Fox 5 San Diego noted Santa Anita reopened Friday after nearly a monthlong closure for officials to implement new regulations and inspect the track.

The California Horse Racing Board limited anti-inflammatory medications on horses and reduced the use of Lasix (which prevents horses from hemorrhaging) by 50 percent. What's more, Santa Anita officials implemented a number of measures, including transparency of veterinary records, additional out-of-competition testing and the need for trainers to seek permission to work a horse 48 hours in advance.

Arms Runner won his last race at Santa Anita Park in January.

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