Racetrack officials at California’s Del Mar course have suspended racing on the turf track for several days after a horror start to the season involving a series of horse fatalities.
Scheduled turf racing will be moved to the polytrack for the rest of the week.
Four horses racing on the turf track have been euthanized since the season began on July 17, and during Thursday afternoon’s racing another horse, named Serious, suffered an injury, prompting the move to the polytrack. It is believed Serious suffered a major front leg injury.
Del Mar Thoroughbred Club said it continued to believe that its turf course was safe for horses and riders.
“Our crews have performed extensive maintenance measures to enhance that safety and those measures – and the course itself – met with the approval of safety officials from the California Horse Racing Board this past Tuesday.
“Nonetheless, given this additional injury on our turf course, we now will discontinue racing on it for the remainder of this week.
“We will continue efforts to improve the course during this down time and hope to resume racing on it in the near future.”
The club said it would continue talking with all its racing partners – the California Horse Racing Board, the Thoroughbred Owners of California, the California Thoroughbred Trainers and the Jockey Guild – in a bid to understand what it labelled a serious problem.
It is anticipated that racing will return to the turf next Wednesday, after further maintenance work.
Work on the track since last weekend has included aeration and watering of the surface, and repositioning of the inner rail at the 18-foot position, with racing resuming on Wednesday.