Mean Sophia, a 3-year-old filly, has died after suffering an injury while racing at Del Mar Racetrack -- the first equine fatality during a summer meet at the track since 2018.
The horse stumbled coming out of the gate in Saturday's seventh race, broke her leg and was euthanized after track veterinarians determined that she could not be saved, track spokesman Mac McBride said.
Mean Sophia was owned by Sinnott Family Trust and trained by Peter Miller, according to the industry website Equibase. Her jockey was Ricardo Gonzalez. She had eight career starts and one first-place finish.
While there have been no racing deaths at Del Mar this year or last, four training deaths were recorded last summer, and four other horses have died at the track this summer -- two in training accidents and two listed for "other" causes.
Officials with Del Mar and the California Horse Racing Board did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Some animal rights activists have urged the track to suspend racing this weekend due to the extreme heat wave plaguing Southern California, but McBride told City News Service that heat was "not an issue'' at Del Mar.
"It was relatively cool here yesterday with a good breeze coming in off the ocean," he said.
Sunday's high was expected to reach 95 degrees in Del Mar.
McBride has noted that in both 2018 and 2019, the Jockey Club's Equine Injury Database recognized Del Mar as the safest major track in the United States.