A 3-year-old gelding that suffered a breakdown in a workout at Del Mar has been euthanized, the fifth horse to die during the fall meet that ends Sunday.
Trained by Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer, Koa was euthanized on Saturday. He had three wins in 10 career starts and earnings of $95,860 for owner Michael Stinson, according to Equibase. Koa finished second in his last start on Nov. 14 at Del Mar.
Koa will undergo a necropsy to determine the exact cause of death, confirmed Mac McBride, a Del Mar Thoroughbred Club spokesman.
Koa was the fifth horse that has died since the track’s fall meet began on Nov. 8.
Hollendorfer was the trainer with the most deaths (four) among 37 since last December at Santa Anita.
The Stronach Group, owners of Santa Anita and Golden Gate Fields, banned Hollendorfer from its racetracks, while Del Mar lost a court decision in July when it tried to prevent him from entering races during its summer meet.
The two most recent deaths occured on Nov. 17 when Slewgoodtobetrue died in the barn area and Princess Dorian was euthanized after developing laminitis in both of her hind legs on Nov. 10, a track spokesman said.
Princess Dorian, a 5-year-old mare, originally suffered fractures to her left front leg in a race on Nov. 10. She underwent surgery that was deemed successful the following day and her owners and trainer Andrew Lerner were optimistic about her recovery. But laminitis quickly set in.
Princess Dorian was partly owned by Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson. She had four wins in 23 career starts and earnings of $137,400.
On Nov. 10, Ghost Street, a maiden 3-year-old gelding making his fourth start, and Prayer Warrior, were the first and second deaths of the season, which opened on Nov. 8.
Both horses sustained inoperable fractures to their sesamoid bones which are about the size of walnuts and located in the ankle joints of horses, said Dana Stead, Association Veterinarian for Del Mar Thoroughbred Club.
Before the current meet, Del Mar hadn’t had a horse die in racing since the 2018 fall meet.
"Del Mar has implemented a series of industry-leading safety and welfare reforms over the past several years. We will continue our commitment to safety at the highest levels for our horses and riders," the racetrack said in an earlier interview.