Another horse has died at Los Alamitos Race Course – at least the 26th horse to die from a racing or training injury at the Cypress track this year.

Hit It Up, a 2-year-old gelding, suffered an injury on Oct. 23 in the eighth race. Ernesto Parra owned him, while  Ramiro Lopez Zuazo trained him. Jockey Ruben Lozano rode Hit It Up during his last race.

A Los Alamitos official told City News Service on Oct. 24 that the horse entered and exited the equine medical unit on his own after the injury. He returned to his barn with his trainer the next morning.

He died Oct. 28, according to the California Horse Racing Board.

Dr. Rick Arthur, the board’s equine medical director, told the Los Angeles Times a board vet examined Hit It Up, as did Zuazo’s veterinarian.

Arthur added that the experts describe the injury as consistent with a spine injury. The track will await a necropsy result before determining the official cause of death.

In addition to the 26 racing and training deaths, 13 horses have died at Los Alamitos this year. State board officials list the causes as “other.”

Los Alamitos Race Course was placed on probation by the the board in July in response to this year’s spate of horse deaths. The action essentially put the facility at risk of having its racing permits suspended.

The board later signed off on a plan aimed at bolstering safety and equine-oversight at the facility.

The plan included adding another veterinarian to be a “roving observer of horses in training, while entering, exiting, or on the track,” as well as a “security steward” who oversees veterinary and barn practices.

The new plan also included an “entry review panel” of experts who have the authority to scratch horses for races.

Since the probation, at least eight more horses at the track have died. Five died from racing injures and three from causes categorized as “other.”

Nighttime quarter horse racing continues at Los Alamitos without fans due to the coronavirus.

Deaths in horse-racing circles have attracted more attention in the state since late 2018. That’s when the Santa Anita track began suffering a spate of losses. Del Mar officials dealt with fallout from the Santa Anita trials in 2019, as well as horse deaths at its own facility.

– City News Service