Eighth horse dies at Santa Anita since the start of the season

John Cherwa
·2 min read
ARCADIA, CALIF. -- WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 26, 2018: Gift Box (7), left, Dabster (3), center, and Battle of Midway (2), second from right, jockey for position as they head towards the stretch in the San Antonio Stakes (Grade II), eighth race, on Opening Day at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., on Dec. 26, 2018. Gift Box went on to win the race. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)
Horses race at Santa Anita Park in December 2018. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

Multiplier, a 7-year-old gelding running for the 37th time, was euthanized Monday as the result of injuries suffered in the Tokyo City Cup at Santa Anita on Sunday. It was the second life-ending injury in two days of racing at Santa Anita, the first time that has happened since June 2019.

The horse was running at the back of the five-horse field when he appeared to struggle on the far turn and was pulled up by jockey Ruben Fuentes. He suffered a fracture of the right front ankle and was stabilized with the hopes of surgery Monday. But further diagnostic testing revealed more extensive damage than had been originally thought and the decision was made to euthanize the horse.

On Saturday, My Child Sbud fractured his left front ankle while running in a claiming race and was euthanized later that day.

Multiplier had earned almost $600,000 in his lifetime, winning four of 37 races. In 2017, he won the Illinois Derby, his only graded stakes win, before running the Preakness Stakes (finished sixth) and Belmont Stakes (10th.) He dropped down to the claiming level Feb. 5 this year when he was bought for $50,000 and moved from the Peter Miller barn to that of Andrew Lerner.

It was the eighth racing or training death at Santa Anita since the racing season began Dec. 26. It was the third death associated with racing on the main dirt surface. There were none last year.

In 2019, when 37 horses died as the result of racing or training, two deaths on the same day occurred three times. Racing deaths occurred on successive racing days twice that year. Neither occurred last year.

Since then, Santa Anita — and racing throughout the country — has initiated added safety precautions and protocol changes that have seemingly reduced the number of equine fatalities. In December, Congress passed the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act, which will take effect July 1, 2022.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.