Horse racing

Third horse dies at Del Mar Racetrack in 2023 summer season


A 2-year-old colt who was injured in his second career race at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club has died, state horse racing officials confirmed.

Episode Five died on Saturday, according to Mike Marten, Spokesman for the California Horse Racing Board. He was hurt in the third race on July 29.

Surgery was performed on Episode Five at the Del Mar Racetrack's on-site clinic, then he was shipped to San Luis Rey Equine Hospital for post-surgery care and recovery, Marten told NBC 7.

Afterwards, problems developed and euthanasia became necessary on Aug. 5, Marten added.

Episode Five is the third horse to die from a racing or training injury at Del Mar this year.

Racehorses Nevisian Sunrise and Ghostem were euthanized on July 27 and 29, respectively, after sustaining injuries while training, Marten said. Both of those deaths occurred one week into the Del Mar Racetrack 2023 summer racing season.

A pony also died on Aug. 4 at the Del Mar Racetrack, unrelated to racing. Sixteen-year-old pony Dallas became ill and died overnight in his stall, presumably from colic, according to Marten.

Since training started at Del Mar on July 14, there have been over 40,000 individual training or racing events from the about 2,000 horses stabled there, Mac McBride of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club told NBC 7.

The DMTC sent a statement regarding the horse death to NBC 7.

"Unfortunately, three horses have suffered injuries during racing or training that have resulted in their respective owners and attending veterinary teams to make the difficult decision to euthanize them," the statement read.

"We will continue to monitor our racing surfaces and protocols and scrutinize every runner in an effort to continue to create the safest environment possible for racing and training. Additionally, we will proceed with our collaborations with the nation’s foremost experts in track safety along with our interactions with authorities in the fields of horse and rider safety," the statement read.

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