Horse dies at Del Mar after sustaining injury during workout

Horses take off from the starting gate at Del Mar.
Horses take off from the starting gate at Del Mar. Two horses have died at the track since it opened for training June 28.
(Hayne Palmour IV / San Diego Union-Tribune)

Del Mar had its second horse death since the track opened for training June 28. Irreproachable, a 4-year-old gelding, suffered a catastrophic injury during a workout Monday morning.

The horse was finishing a workout when the injury occurred; the exact nature was not available. Del Mar, rated the safest major track in the U.S. by the Equine Injury Database, has had no racing deaths this meeting after a spotless record last summer. The rating is based only on racing deaths, not those that occur in training.

Irreproachable was trained by Phil D’Amato and owned by the Ellwood Johnson Trust and Timmy Town Racing. He had run only twice, finishing 10th in a maiden special weight at Santa Anita on May 30 and second in a maiden claiming race at Del Mar on July 24. His lifetime earnings were $5,500.


Since the track opened for its signature meeting, there have been 7,034 timed workouts and 1,655 starts in a race. The previous death, also in training, was July 11 when Lovely Lilia suffered a life-ending injury. Last year, Del Mar had four training deaths in the summer meeting, two of those in a freak collision. During the much shorter fall meeting, there were two deaths racing and three in training.

There are about 1,700 horses stabled at Del Mar, with most going to the track at least six days a week for at least a gallop or light work. Horses that are being readied for a race tend to have a full-speed timed workout about once a week.

Kentucky Derby hopeful Authentic was on the track just starting a workout when the accident occurred, according to the Daily Racing Form. When the accident happened, trainer Bob Baffert called off the workout and rescheduled it for Tuesday.

Del Mar will close its meeting Sept. 7.