A 4-year-old colt suffered a sudden death while training at Santa Anita Park, the second fatality at the Arcadia track this year.
Actuator died Saturday, according to the California Horse Racing Board, which listed his injury under the “non-musculoskeletal” category. No further information on his cause of death was immediately available.
Actuator had seven races and two first-place finishes in his career, all out of state, according to the industry website Equibase. His last listed workout was Saturday at Santa Anita.
He was owned by Rick Howard and Gavin O’Connor, his trainer was Michael McCarthy and his jockey was Brian Joseph Hernandez Jr., according to Equibase.
On Jan. 20, Press On — another 4-year-old colt — died after suffering a training injury at Santa Anita.
Twelve racehorses died at Santa Anita in 2022, according to the CHRB.
Santa Anita officials have said they’ve made major improvements in horse safety after 2019, when 42 horses died at the track, sparking widespread debate about safety issues at Santa Anita and about horse-racing in general. The uproar led to procedural and veterinary oversight changes at the park.
After the completion of Santa Anita’s winter-spring season last June, track officials hailed what they called major improvements in horse safety, and called the facility the safest track in North America compared to those with similar racing and training activity.
In mid-January, the groups Animal Wellness Action, the Animal Wellness Foundation and the Center for a Humane Economy praised the operators of Santa Anita and Del Mar in San Diego for recording no live racing deaths during 2022.
“We applaud the leaders at Santa Anita and Del Mar, as well as the California Horse Racing Board, for working so diligently to ensure the welfare and safety of the horses are a top priority,” Marty Irby, executive director of Animal Wellness Action and senior vice president of the Center for a Humane Economy, said in a statement. “Ensuring only healthy and sound horses are allowed to run should be the top priority of every track and racing jurisdiction in America and it’s refreshing to see the great news that no live racing deaths occurred at Santa Anita or Del Mar in 2022.”