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Santa Anita’s 21 horse racing fatalities range from lightly raced to a Breeders’ Cup champion

A statue of Zenyatta stands in the paddock gardens area at Santa Anita Park Tuesday, March 5, 2019,
A total of 21 horses have died at Santa Anita since the start of the track’s winter meet on Dec. 26.
(Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)

Twenty-one horses at Santa Anita died between Dec. 26 and Tuesday, when the track closed down while experts examined potential causes and tried to determine whether the racing surfaces were safe.

This is a list of the fatalities, and details on the environment in which they had been running:

Psychedelicat (Dec. 30): 4-year-old gelding died during a $16,000 claiming race that was a mile on the dirt. It was his 18th race, of which he won two. He was bought for $90,000 as a yearling and ran for Hall of Fam trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. The track was listed as fast.

Tank Team (Jan. 4): Gelding died during a race for 3-year-old maidens going 6 1/2 furlongs on the downhill turf course. It was his third lifetime race. He was a homebred, so not sold publicly, and ran for Keith Desormeaux, who won the Preakness with Exaggerator. The turf was listed as firm.

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Unusual Angel (Jan. 4): 3-year-old colt died in the same race as Tank Team, although the incidents were not related. It was his fourth lifetime race, running for trainer Alexis Barba, who has won 59 races of 563 starts lifetime. The colt was a homebred.

Secret Street (Jan. 8): Unraced 3-year-old died during a five-furlong timed workout. Thirty-six horses worked out that day over a fast track. He was a homebred for trainer Bruce Headley, who has won more than $38 million in his career and has one Breeders’ Cup victory.

Derby Treasure (Jan. 11): 4-year-old filly died in a six-furlong $30,000 maiden claiming race. She was winless in eight starts for trainer Ruben Gomez, who has won just shy of $1 million in purses in 10 years of training. She was bought as 2-year-old for $3,500. The track was listed as fast.

Noise Mandate (Jan. 18): 3-year-old filly died after fishing seventh and last in a 5 1/2-furlong $20,000 maiden claiming race, her debut. She was unsaddled after the race and vanned off the course. The trainer was Michael Machowsky, who has trained for three decades and earned more than $25 million. She was a homebred. The track was listed as good, which means it had moisture in it, and is a step below firm.

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Amboseli (Jan. 20): 7-year-old mare died after running in the Grade 3 $100,000 Astra Stakes, a 1 1/2-mile turf race, part of which is contested on the downhill course. She won two of 26 lifetime starts after being purchased in Europe in 2015 for around $75,000. She was trained by Jim Cassidy, president of the California Thoroughbred Trainers. The track was listed as good.

Last Promise Kept (Jan. 21): 5-year-old mare died after running in the Grade 3 $100,000 Megahertz Stakes, a mile race on the turf. This homebred had won three of her 12 lifetime races. She was trained by Tom Proctor, who has trained for more than four decades and has one Breeders’ Cup win. The track was listed as good.

Like Really Smart (Jan. 21): 5-year-old gelding died after running in a $50,000 maiden claiming race over 6 1/2 furlongs. It was his third start for trainer Leonard Powell, who has won 131 races in 1,059 starts and almost $6 million. He was bought as a yearling for $5,000. The track was listed as fast.

Dancing Harbor (Jan. 23): 4-year-old gelding died during a timed workout during training. The track was listed as fast and 258 other horses worked out the same morning. The homebred won one of his eight lifetime races for trainer Frank Lucarelli, who has trained for four decades and won almost $21 million.

Spitfire (Jan. 25): 7-year-old gelding died after a four-furlong timed workout on the main track. He had won three of 13 races lifetime. The track was listed as fast and 57 other horses worked that day. He was a $100,000 purchase as yearling and trained by Brian Koriner, who has won a Breeders’ Cup race and trained last year’s California horse of the year, Spiced Perfection.

Kid Cantina (Feb. 2): Gelding died after the Grade 3 $150,000 Robert Lewis Stakes for 3-year-olds, going 1 1/16 miles on the dirt. He was a $15,000 purchase as a yearling and was trained by Librado Barocio, who has earned more than $800,000 in 17 years. The track was listed as sloppy and sealed.

Comegowithme (Feb. 6):3-year-old filly died after running in a $50,000 maiden claiming race, 5 1/2 furlongs on the dirt. She was winless in five races and was originally bought for $1,200. She was trained by Antonio Garcia, who is in his fourth year of training. The track was listed as sloppy and sealed.

Jager Time (Feb. 17): 4-year-old colt died after running a four-furlong timed workout on the main track, which was listed as fast. He was unraced and was being trained by Jorge Periban, who has won 306 of his 2,713 races. The colt was a homebred.

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Unusual Rider (Feb. 18): 3-year-old gelding died after a timed workout on the main track, which was listed as fast. There were 171 other horses who worked out that day. He was winless in four starts for trainer Mike Puype, who has won two Breeders’ Cup races with Mizdirection.

Hot American (Feb. 22): 4-year-old gelding died after running in a $25,000 waiver claiming race over 1 1/8 miles on the turf. He had won one of his 10 lifetime races after being bought in a private sale. He was trained by Ryan Hanson, who is in his sixth year of training. The track was listed as firm.

Just Forget It (Feb. 23): Unraced 4-year-old gelding died after a timed workout on the main track, which was labeled fast. The homebred was trained by Barocio, who also trained Kid Cantina, who broke down and was euthanized three weeks earlier.

Battle Of Midway (Feb. 23): 5-year-old horse died after a timed workout, just as Just Forget It had. There were 120 horses that completed workouts that day. He was third in the Kentucky Derby and won the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile. He was retired to stud but had trouble getting mares in foal and was returned to the race track. Three weeks earlier, he won the San Pasqual Stakes at Santa Anita. He was a $410,000 purchase as a yearling and was trained by Hollendorfer.

Charmer John (Feb. 25): 3-year-old gelding died after a timed workout on the main track, which was listed as fast. There were 169 horses that completed their workout that day. He was winless in one start for trainer Mark Glatt, who has won more than $27 million in purses. Charmer John was originally bought for $36,000.

Eskenforadrink (March 2): 4-year-old filly died during a $16,000 claiming race of one mile. The track was listed as sloppy and sealed. She had won two of her 12 lifetime races for trainer Jorge Gutierrez, who has won almost $11 million over a two-decade career. She was a $15,000 purchase in 2016.

Let’s Light The Way (March 5): 4-year-old filly died during a timed workout on the main track, which was listed as fast. There were 264 horses that completed workouts that day. She had won one of four lifetime starts for Hall of Fame trainer Ron McAnally. The filly was originally bought for $15,000 as a yearling.

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