Pistachio Princess becomes the 17th horse to die at Los Alamitos Racecourse in 2022

A four-year-old filly has become the 17th racehorse to die this year at Los Alamitos Race Course after suffering sudden death. According to the California Horse Racing Board, Pistachio Princess died in the stall on Monday, November 21.

The filly had 19 career starts, which included first-place wins at both Santa Anita in March and Los Alamitos Race Course in June 2021. Pistachio Princess was owned by Belico Racing LLC, while her trainer was Lorenzo Ruiz, and Edgar Payeras served as the filly’s jockey.

Mike Marten, who is the public information officer for the California Horse Racing Board, said Pistachio Princess was found dead in her stall Monday morning, according to CBS News. The cause of her death will be confirmed by a post-mortem examination, which will be conducted under the supervision of the University of California at UC Davis.

“Sudden death is defined as the acute collapse and death of a closely observed and previously apparently healthy horse,” Marten said in a statement.

Los Alamitos officials did not respond to CBS News’ request for comment.

Here’s more from Marten on what sudden death means for horses:

“As the California Horse Racing Board, with the full cooperation of the racing industry, continues to reduce the number of equine deaths each year – reduced by more than 50% in the last few years – there are fewer associated musculoskeletal deaths. with racing and training. Therefore, as a percentage of total deaths, sudden deaths became a larger percentage because the gross number remained constant. There are no more sudden deaths than before. It only seems so in light of the decline from other causes.”

In 2022, seven horses died from racing injuries at Los Alamitos, while three died from training injuries and seven died from other causes. Earlier this year, Los Alamitos Race Course took steps to improve field safety after four horses died over an 11-day period.

According to the California Horse Racing Board, Los Alamitos has eliminated the use of “high toe grips,” which are similar to the cleats football players would use for better traction. The “breaking bar” was also taken in quarter horse racing, serving as a starting block in track meets.

Last year, a total of 13 horses died at Los Alamitos — 11 related to racing or training injuries. Los Alamitos Racetrack was even put on probation for a brief period in July 2020 after at least 20 horses died on the track at that time.

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