Santa Anita checking if rules followed before horse’s death

AP Photo

ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) A spokesman for the owner of Santa Anita says The Stronach Group is investigating whether new rules were followed before the 26th horse death at the Southern California racetrack.

Kochees, a 9-year-old gelding, was euthanized Sunday after injuring his left front leg in a race a day earlier. It was the third horse death in nine days and the 26th overall since the season began Dec. 26.

Spokesman Stefan Friedman told The Associated Press on Monday that The Stronach Group is looking into whether protocols were followed leading up to the gelding being euthanized. He says if rules weren’t followed then “consequences will be swift.”

Among the rules put in place since March, a trainer’s veterinarian must sign off on a horse’s fitness before the track’s veterinarian also takes a look at the animal ahead of it training or racing.