Another horse has died at Los Alamitos Race Course — at least the 26th horse to die from a racing or training injury at the Cypress track this year.
Hit It Up was injured on Oct. 23 in the eighth race. He was a 2-year-old gelding owned by Ernesto Parra and trained by Ramiro Lopez Zuazo. His jockey in the fatal race was Ruben Lozano.
A Los Alamitos official told City News Service on Oct. 24 that the horse walked inside the equine medical transport unit on his own and walked out of it on his own after the injury, and was back in his barn with his trainer the next morning.
He died Oct. 28, according to the California Horse Racing Board.
Dr. Rick Arthur, equine medical director for the CHRB, told the Los Angeles Times that Hit It Up was examined by a board vet and by Zuazo’s veterinarian. Arthur added that the injury was consistent with a spine injury but was awaiting a necropsy result before determining the official cause of death.
In addition to the 26 racing and training deaths, 13 horses have died at Los Alamitos this year from causes listed by the CHRB as “other.”
Los Alamitos Race Course was placed on probation by the CHRB in July in response to this year’s spate of horse deaths, essentially putting the facility at risk of having its racing permits suspended. The CHRB later signed off on a plan aimed at bolstering safety and equine-oversight at the facility.
The plan included adding another veterinarian to be a “roving observer of horses in training, while entering, exiting, or on the track,” as well as a “security steward” who oversees veterinary and barn practices.
The new plan also included an “entry review panel” of experts who have the authority to scratch horses for races.
Since the probation, at least eight more horses at the track have died, five from racing injures and three from causes listed by the CHRB as “other.”
Nighttime quarter horse racing is continuing at Los Alamitos without fans due to the coronavirus.