A 6-year-old, ungelded male racehorse has died after suffering a racing injury at Santa Anita Park, officials confirmed.
Major Cabbie was vanned off after an injury in Saturday’s fourth race and was later euthanized, according to Mike Marten, spokesman for the California Horse Racing Board.
Major Cabbie had 25 starts in his career, with four first-place finishes and career earnings of $230,751, according to the industry website Equibase. He was owned by Stephen McDonald, Jesse Navarro and Joseph Sciarra, and trained by Victor Garcia. His jockey was Ricardo Gonzalez.
He is the third horse to die from a racing or training injury in the Arcadia park’s fall season, which began Oct. 1. Additionally, Seven Summers, a 2-year-old unraced filly, died from a training injury on Sept. 30. And Electric Ride, a 2-year-old filly whose two career starts include one win and one second-place finish, died Oct. 16. Her cause of death is listed as non-musculoskeletal sudden death, with the CHRB also noting anaphylactic shock.
In the calendar year 2021, 16 horses have died from racing or training injuries suffered at Santa Anita. The track reported 20 such deaths in 2020.
Those numbers represent an improvement over previous years. The park endured a storm of controversy in 2018-19, as 37 horses died in racing or training incidents during one racing season, prompting some animal rights activists to renew their calls for a ban on the sport.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office investigated the deaths, and concluded there was no criminal wrongdoing, but made a series of recommendations aimed at improving safety at California race tracks.
A months-long investigation by state regulators in 2019 found no evidence of illegal medications or procedures, but determined most of the horses had “pre-existing pathology,” according to a report by the CHRB.
Officials with the CHRB and Santa Anita owner The Stronach Group enacted a series of new rules after those deaths, and Santa Anita officials say they have one of the best safety records in the industry.