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Second horse dies this week at Los Alamitos Race Course as probation continues

Thoroughbred horses bolt out of the starting gate in the first race at Los Alamitos Race Track in 2014.
A second horse died at Los Alamitos Race Track since it was put on probation because of an increase in fatalities.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

A second horse has died at Los Alamitos Race Course since the track was placed on 10 days probation by the California Horse Racing Board because of a marked increase in fatalities. It was the fourth racing death this month in only five programs. There have been 10 horses which have died either racing or training since May 26 and 22 since the meeting began on Dec. 27.

Alltime Favorite, a 2-year-old quarter-horse gelding, was injured either at the end or immediately after a 350-yard race Friday. He was not euthanized until Monday after efforts to save him failed. Tacy pulled up with injuries during a race Sunday and later euthanized.

Alltime Favorite was a third-time starter after winning his first two races. He was competing in trials for the Governor’s Cup Futurity for California-bred horses. He finished fifth in the eight-horse race when it was determined he was injured and taken by van off the course.

The CHRB called an emergency meeting last Friday to address the rise in deaths. Vice-chairman Oscar Gonzales suggested putting a pause on racing this past weekend but instead the Board put the track on probation.

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Los Alamitos Race Course, currently under a 10-day probation for a spike in horse deaths, had its 21st fatality this meeting on Sunday, the ninth since May 26

The track has submitted a draft of a plan to address the fatalities to the CHRB, and it was provided to The Times after a request.

Among the ideas the track said it would implement:

—Adding one “qualified veterinarian” to observe morning workouts.

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—The addition of a pre-race screening panel similar, but not identical, to those used on thoroughbreds during day racing. The panel will be made up of the entry steward, racing secretary and a track or CHRB veterinarian. The racing secretary is an employee of the track.

—There will be a post-race internal incident assessment, which will include track consultant Dennis Moore and veterinarians, which will be separate from the CHRB investigation.

—There will several pre-race medication and eligibility rules to ensure that a horse is completely fit. If a track or CHRB veterinarian determines a horse needs diagnostic imaging, it will be done and paid for by the owner or trainer.

Read the Los Alamitos Race Course safety plan.

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The CHRB will have a meeting on Thursday but Los Alamitos is not on the agenda. It instead will be discussed at a special meeting Monday.


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