Jockey Mario Gutierrez hospitalized, horse euthanized after breakdown at Santa Anita

Horses run in the second race at Santa Anita Park to empty stands Saturday, March 14, 2020.
Horses run in the second race at Santa Anita Park in March 2020. Squeaky Cheeky was euthanized Sunday after breaking down during a race at Santa Anita.
(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

Jockey Mario Gutierrez was injured when his mount, Squeaky Cheeky, broke down after running a race at Santa Anita on Sunday. Gutierrez was transported to Huntington Methodist Hospital on a safety board complaining of pain in his shoulder and collarbone area. He was conscious and moving all extremities.

The horse, an unraced 4-year-old gelding, collapsed with a catastrophic injury to his right front ankle. Veterinarians determined the injury was unrecoverable, and the horse was euthanized. Squeaky Cheeky went down several yards beyond the finish line after running in a 6½-furlong maiden claiming race on the turf. He finished last in the seven-horse race and was not running hard and did not appear to be under any duress. The horse was trained by Peter Eurton.

It was the fifth racing or training death at Santa Anita since the meeting opened Dec. 26. Two years ago, during the major spike in fatalities at the track, 19 horses had died by this point in the season. The track instituted a series of reforms, including increased veterinary oversight, since that time.

Gutierrez is an accomplished jockey, having won two Kentucky Derbies, one Preakness and a Breeders’ Cup race.