By John Cherwa Special Contributor | Dec. 14, 2019 3:01 PM
Two horses die in same race at Los Alamitos:
Los Alamitos had its first two deaths during daytime thoroughbred racing this year when two horses died in the first race on Saturday. The deaths were not related.
Mighty Elijah injured his left front leg in the stretch, according to the stewards. He was vanned off and euthanized when his injury could not be repaired. The horse was trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, who is banned from running his horses Santa Anita Park and Golden Gates Fields after a string of fatalities. Los Alamitos has allowed him to race horses and Del Mar let him race after Hollendorfer obtained a court order.
Mighty Elijah, a 4-year-old gelding, was winless in nine starts and running in a $15,000 maiden claiming race when he broke down.
The other horse to die was Into a Hot Spot, who collapsed while being unsaddled after the race. He died on the track. The stewards said he had internal injuries.
Mighty Elijah was the eighth horse to die in Hollendorfer’s care in the last 13 months. There have been four at Santa Anita, two at Golden Gate, one at Del Mar and now one at Los Alamitos. Hollendorfer announced earlier this month that he was taking his stable to Oaklawn Park in Arkansas to run after the beginning of the year.
Knowing that Oaklawn Park is planning on welcoming this trainer with open arms, I feel compelled to ask the following:
How is it that a trainer -- ANY trainer -- is allowed to race ANYWHERE -- after having seven... strike that and make it eight --
How is it that a trainer -- ANY trainer -- is allowed to race ANYWHERE -- after having eight horses die while under his care in the span of about a year?
If seven deaths in the span of about a year isn't too many?
If eight deaths in the span of about a year isn't too many?
How many is too many?
What's it going to take to get a North American racing jurisdiction -- ANY North American racing jurisdiction -- to regulate this sport in a serious way?
What's it going to take to get EVERY North American racing jurisdiction to regulate this sport in a serious way?
--Jeff Platt, HANA President