A race horse injured at the Del Mar Racetrack last week was euthanized Monday after developing acute laminitis in both hind legs.
Princess Dorian suffered a leg fracture at Del Mar on Nov. 10, the same day 3-year-old gelding Ghost Street and 3-year-old colt Prayer Warrior suffered catastrophic injuries at the track.
Princess Dorian 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, a painful inflammation of the hoof that can cause irreparable damage to a horse’s ability to walk.
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.
“The vets said it came out of left field,” Lerner told the Daily Racing Form Monday morning. “She became very uncomfortable behind. It happened so quickly. It took everyone by surprise, owing to the way she had been doing. We had said all along that we wouldn’t let her suffer.”
A second horse died of unrelated causes Sunday morning. The 3-year-old filly Slewgoodtobetrue collapsed in Del Mar’s barn area after a workout. She had made only six career starts, and most recently raced in April.
Marty Irby, executive director of Animal Wellness Action, a member of the Coalition for Horseracing Integrity, said in a statement Monday:
“As the body count continues to climb, the American public’s view of the sport continues to decline. Our modern-day society will no longer tolerate the deaths of our iconic American horses for entertainment — this isn’t Ancient Rome, it’s 2019. American horse racing is addicted to drugs, and it’s time for intervention.”
Irby added: “Congress must pass the Horseracing Integrity Act before the 116th Congress ends next year, or the public effort will likely shift away from eliminating doping in horse racing to eliminating horse racing itself.”
The four deaths have heightened the scrutiny placed on horse racing since a rash of deaths at Santa Anita Park earlier this year. Officials with the California Horse Racing Board and Santa Anita owner The Stronach Group enacted a series of new rules during a racing year in which 37 horses died at Santa Anita.
Animal rights activists with organizations such as Horseracing Wrongs are expected to flock to this week’s meeting of the CHRB, which will be held at the Hilton Del Mar on Thursday. In addition to Princess Dorian, seven horses have died while racing or training at Del Mar so far this year.
Updated at 2:31 p.m. Nov. 18, 2019
— City News Service
>> Subscribe to Times of San Diego’s free daily email newsletter! Click hereFollow Us: