From the San Diego Union-Tribune
DEL MAR — It’s now a dozen horse fatalities. That’s 12 horses that were vanned into Del Mar this summer to race, but they were vanned off and won’t be going home from the 72nd meeting.
Last year, five horses were euthanized during the summer meeting at Del Mar. Two were injured in turf races and then put down. Five others were injured on the Polytrack, one in a morning workout, four in afternoon racing, and then euthanized.
This year’s 12th horse fatality, Burns, a 3-year-old colt owned by Madeline Auerbach and Alfred Pais and trained by Barry Abrams, broke down on the backstretch turn in the Del Mar Derby and had to be euthanized. Burns broke sesamoid bones in his right foreleg.
Jockey Patrick Valenzuela, who won the Pacific Classic last Sunday, managed to keep Burns up, but Valenzuela suffered a leg injury that caused him to miss his final two mounts. He will be evaluated Monday to see if he can race. He has seven mounts on the Labor Day card.
Burns, the son of Unusual Heat by Little Hottie, is the fourth horse to suffer a catastrophic injury on the turf course.
One Sept. 1, Lordgivemealift, a 5-year-old gelding, broke down in a 5-furlong turf race. He was owned by Altamira Racing Stable and trained by Peter Miller.
Eight other horses were put down after getting injured on the Polytrack, with six injured in workouts and two others in afternoon racing. One of the fatalities from afternoon racing was from an injury the horse suffered trying to elude a fallen horse on the Polytrack. The horse, a 3-year-old filly named Our Lady Gaga, wasn’t euthanized until nearly a month later after she returned to Santa Anita.