Two more horses die at Santa Anita

Two more horses broke down and were euthanized over the weekend at Santa Anita, bringing the number of fatalities from racing or training to seven since the meet’s traditional Dec. 26 opening.

The issue has remained heated with the ongoing controversy over the introduction the last two years of mandated synthetic tracks at Santa Anita, Del Mar and Hollywood Park.

Dr. Rick Arthur, equine medical director for the California Horse Racing Board, confirmed Monday that Twisted Lyric, who is trained by Ron Ellis, and Uta’s Beauty, trained by Vladimir Cerin, were injured during training sessions Sunday morning and were euthanized.

Arthur said that Twisted Lyric was on the Veterinarians List, which means that the horse had been determined to be unfit to race and must prove physical soundness before being allowed back. Twisted Lyric had never won a race and had made only one start, 27 months ago.


Uta’s Beauty was on a different list, the Steward’s List, which shows those horses ineligible to start a race because of poor or inconsistent performances. Uta’s Beauty was put on the Steward’s List after finishing 12 1/2 lengths behind the next-to-last horse and another 15 lengths behind the third-to-last finisher.

Arthur said that he had heard anecdotally that other horses that had run at Santa Anita had died recently, either in recovery from injuries or during surgery elsewhere, but said that only horses that die “within the racing enclosure” are listed as deaths at Santa Anita.