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Another horse dies at Los Alamitos, the 27th since December

Horses and jockeys charge out of the starting gate during a race at Los Alamitos Race Course in June 2019.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Bob E. McGee became the 27th racing or training fatality at Los Alamitos since Dec. 27 when the 2-year-old gelding sustained a life-ending injury after finishing a 350-yard race on Sunday night. The horse was running in a trial for the Pacific Coast Quarter Horse Racing Assn. Breeders’ Futurity.

He had just run fourth, 2 1/2 lengths behind the winner, and was decelerating when it’s believed he fractured his left shoulder and then fell to the ground. The injury was considered unrepairable and the horse was euthanized. A necropsy will be performed to determine the cause of the injury. Rider Jairo Rangel was unhurt.

Bob E. McGee was running his fourth lifetime race, having finished third twice. His last race was June 26 when he finished third in a maiden race. His earnings totaled $10,214. He was trained by Paul Jones and owned and bred by Bobby Simmons.

Billy the Hott became the 25th horse to die in a racing or training incident at Los Alamitos Race Course since Dec. 27.

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When they suffer a catastrophic injury, most horses are pulled up quickly by the jockey and the horse remains upright. But when an injury is of greater intensity the horse and rider often go to the ground. On Aug. 22 at Los Alamitos, jockey Vinnie Bednar’s mount, Peek It Up, fell in the stretch after a life-ending injury and Bednar was left with paralysis below his waist. The plans are to send him to a facility in Colorado for the next phase of his treatment.

It was the second fatality after a horse crossed the finish line in the last five weeks. On Aug. 8, Secret Tonight fell after completing a 300-yard race.

Bob E. McGee was the fourth racing or training death since the track was taken off probation by the California Horse Racing Board on July 20. The track came up with enhanced safety and oversight procedures after the CHRB put them on probation with the mandate to improve safety at the track. Ten horses died either racing or training between May 26 and July 13.

Los Alamitos’ nighttime quarter horse and thoroughbred racing was the only horse track running in Southern California last week. The daytime thoroughbreds were on a week break amid plans to resume racing at Santa Anita on Saturday.


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