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Santa Anita checking if rules followed before horse’s death

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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.

Heat prompts NYRA to cancel racing Saturday at Saratoga

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. — The New York Racing Association has canceled Saturday’s card of racing at Saratoga Race Course due to excessive heat forecast for eastern New York.

The National Weather Service is predicting a heat index as high as 110 degrees. Training will be permitted Saturday on both the main track and Oklahoma training track in the normally cooler temperatures in the morning.

The last time an entire racing card was canceled at Saratoga because of extreme heat was Aug. 2, 2006, when temperatures rose to the upper 90s and the heat index measured as high as 110 degrees.

NYRA president Dave O’Rourke calls the move “of the utmost importance” to NYRA and its industry partners.

The sport has come under increased scrutiny with the deaths of 30 horses during the recent racing season at Santa Anita in Southern California.

Two horses killed at Del Mar in training collision

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DEL MAR, Calif. — Two horses have been killed in a collision at Del Mar during training on the second day of its 2019 season.

The track says the accident occurred Thursday morning when the horse Charge A Bunch threw rider Geovanni Franco, turned sharply and collided with Carson Valley.

Carson Valley’s rider, jockey Assael Espinoza, was taken to a hospital for evaluation but Franco was not injured.

Carson Valley’s trainer, Bob Baffert, says it was a freak accident beyond anyone’s control.

The Del Mar deaths follow 30 horse fatalities at the just-ended Santa Anita meet. Those deaths led to an array of new procedures intended to increase safety.