LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Filly Bye Bye Beautiful died during a race at Santa Anita Park on Sunday, bringing the number of horses who have perished at the venue to 36 since late December.
The tragedy comes as the famed Southern California venue is scheduled to hold the Breeders’ Cup world championships on Friday and Saturday.
Bye Bye Beautiful “took a bad step and suffered a catastrophic injury to the right front passing the half mile pole, was pulled up and vanned off,” according to race notes from Equibase.
The horse, who was trained by J. Eric Kruljac, had a thin resume with only two starts going into Sunday’s race. She earned $2,751 in her short career.
Those in favor of banning horse racing altogether were livid at the news.
“End this madness,” Patrick Battuello, the head of website Horse Racing Wrongs, said in a post on Sunday.
Sunday’s fatality comes on the heels of the death of a mare named G Q Covergirl on Friday. She died after injuring her front legs while running on the training track.
Santa Anita Park has been under scrutiny over its alarmingly high fatality rate.
Racing at the track was canceled for more than three weeks in March following a series of fatalities.
Santa Anita hired a consultant to lead a study of the track surface and the California Horse Racing Board also investigated, but the cause of the spike in fatalities remains unclear.
Federal legislation has been introduced aimed at curbing the use of race-day medications in the sport although its prospects in Congress are unclear.
Some $22 million in prize money will be up for grabs at the two-day Breeders’ Cup meeting on Nov. 1-2.
Editing by Michael Perry