Two horses have died in the past two days from injuries at Churchill Downs, the 11th and 12th fatalities in the past month at the Kentucky Derby venue.
Mare Kimberley Dream was euthanized after sustaining a fracture of the distal sesame mode ligament in her front leg during Saturday’s first race.
Lost in Limbo was euthanized after a similar injury just before the finish line in Friday’s seventh race.
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The circuit said in a statement that the injuries to both horses were “inoperable and irreparable.”
“We do not accept this as appropriate or tolerable and share the public’s frustration and, in some cases, the questions to which we do not yet have answers,” it said.
“We have worked extensively since the meeting opened to understand what led to this increase and have yet to find a conclusive discernible pattern while awaiting the results of the ongoing investigations into these injuries and fatalities.”
Churchill Downs’ statement said it had hired surface expert Mick Peterson to conduct additional testing at the track and the data had not raised concerns.
The statement said the data is consistent with previous measurements from Churchill Downs or other routes.
An epidemiological study with the Jockey Club is examining each horse to identify previously unrecognized undetected patterns, the statement said.
“We are concerned by this latest string of deaths,” the statement said. “It’s totally at odds with the results we’ve achieved over the years, the reputation we’ve built over the decades, the expectations we have of ourselves and the expectations we owe to our fans. “
Seven horses died at Churchill Downs from training or racing injuries in the week leading up to the 149th Kentucky Derby on May 6, beginning with the Wild On Ice qualifier on April 27.
Two were euthanized after suffering injuries on the Derby card, with two others dying on May 14 and 20.