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Santa Anita suffers 14th horse death since start of season

Horses race at Santa Anita on March 14.
Horses round the track at Santa Anita Park during a race on March 14.
(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

Santa Anita saw its 14th horse death of the meeting when Lightsaber, an unraced 2-year-old filly, suffered a life-ending breakdown during training.

Lightsaber, trained by Eric Kruljac, sustained a left hind fracture during morning workouts. Attending veterinarians determined the injury as unrecoverable, and the horse was euthanized.

It was Kruljac’s second fatality this year. Tikkun Olam collided with another horse in a freak accident Jan. 19, ending the horse’s life.

Lightsaber, a Cal-bred, was purchased in a 2019 sale at Santa Anita for $55,000.

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Santa Anita had 27 fatalities at this point last year, but that was with more races and more horses on the grounds. Santa Anita was shut down this year for races for about two months because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the track was open for training. Last year, the track was shuttered for about three weeks to investigate what might have caused the fatalities.

Honor A.P. overtook Authentic, the favorite, and entered the Kentucky Derby picture with an easy triumph in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby.


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