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Exercise rider injured, thoroughbred euthanized after breaking down at Del Mar

Exercise rider injured, thoroughbred euthanized after breaking down at Del Mar
A horse is exercised in the paddock at Del Mar racetrack. (Rosemary McClure/For The Times)

An exercise rider was injured and the thoroughbred he was riding was humanely destroyed after breaking down during a workout Saturday morning at Del Mar, marring what promised to be a big day of racing, highlighted by the $1-million Pacific Classic and the showdown between California Chrome and Beholder.

The Daily Racing Form identified the rider as Manny Rotella, 65, who works for trainer Eddie Truman. He was taken to Scripps La Jolla Hospital after being placed on a backboard and having his neck placed into a brace, according to a track spokesman. A hospital spokesman confirmed he is a patient and that his condition is good.

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The 3-year-old filly Alicanto was euthanized and became the 16th horse during this summer's meeting to suffer a fatal injury during training or racing at Del Mar, according to Rick Arthur, equine medical director of the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and adviser to the California Horse Racing Board.

"We always monitor things very carefully," Arthur said. "There's no trend we can identify. We will continue to look at this well past the end of the meet. We're obviously concerned whenever there's a fatality. We're aware of what's going on."

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