The 6-year-old mare GQ Covergirl was euthanized after suffering a bilateral forelimb injury Friday on Santa Anita Park’s inner training track, the 35th horse death at the track since the start of its winter meet Dec. 26.
Exercise rider Amir Cedeno was “physically OK but emotionally bruised,” according to a statement from the racing stable of Doug O’Neill, who trained GQ Covergirl.
“Team O’Neill deeply feels the loss of this wonderful mare,” the statement said.
GQ Covergirl will undergo a necropsy at the University of California Davis School of Veterinary Medicine on behalf of the California Horse Racing Board, as required for all on-track deaths. The necropsy report will be used to determine what, if anything, could have prevented the horse’s injury.
The death was the third during Santa Anita Park’s fall meet, which began Sept. 27. Satchel Paige, a 3-year-old gelding was euthanized after breaking his left front ankle during a race last Saturday. The 5-year-old gelding Ky. Colonel collapsed and died from an apparent heart attack jogging on the inner training track Oct. 6.
GQ Covergirl won both of her final two races — a 5 1/2-furlong claiming turf race for fillies and mares 3 years old and up Oct. 4 at Santa Anita Park and a 6-furlong race on dirt for fillies and mares 3 years old and up at Los Alamitos Race Course Sept. 22.
GQ Covergirl made 16 starts, winning six times, finishing second four times and third three times.