Just two days into Santa Anita’s horse racing season, a 3-year-old colt named Emtech had to be euthanized after suffering two broken front forelimbs during the eighth race of the day on Saturday, track officials told KABC. Emtech’s jockey, two-time Kentucky Derby winner Mario Gutierrez, was tossed off of the colt and but did not suffer any injuries, though he was taken away by ambulance, according to KTLA. While it was the first racing-related horse death of the new season, the colt is the 32nd horse to die in Santa Anita since last December.
Dr. Dionne Benson, Chief Veterinarian for The Stronach Group, gave the following statement:
“As is protocol at Santa Anita, we will open an immediate inquiry into what factors could have contributed to Emtech’s injury. Santa Anita will work closely with the California Horse Racing Board and will continue to brief our stakeholders and all of our constituents, including the public, as more facts come in.”
Trainers and medical staff quickly made their way onto the track to put the green tent up and shield the suffering animal from the crowd, as it was unable to support its own weight.
Santa Anita had gone all of 11 days without a horse dying there; a 4-year-old gelding named Zeke had to be put down earlier this month after breaking its pelvis. The track is scheduled to the Breeders’ Cup world championships in November.