A 2-year-old colt collapsed onto the turf during Sunday's third race at Santa Anita Park and was euthanized a short time later, becoming the first fatality of the track's racing season, which began Saturday.
"During race 3 at Santa Anita Park, Ebeko sustained an injury to his left front leg. Ebeko was immediately attended to by track veterinarians and triaged on the turf course. Given the extent of the fracture and the nature of the injury, it was unfortunately determined that it was an unrecoverable injury," Santa Anita announced.
Ebeko was trailing the entire race, and fell face-first into the turf after his injury. He was trained by Peter Miller, and was ridden Sunday by jockey Joel Rosario. Rosario was examined by Santa Anita's first-aid staff and although he missed race 4, he was cleared to ride the remainder of the afternoon.
Santa Anita debuted a new turf course chute on Saturday, but Sunday's third race did not take place on that course, according to track publicist Mike Willman.
Ebeko will undergo a necropsy at UC Davis' school of veterinary medicine, as is mandatory for all on-track fatalities.
"The accident and the necropsy report will be reviewed by a team to learn what, if anything, could have been done to have prevented the accident,'' Santa Anita said.
The track had just marked an opening day record pari-mutuel handle on Saturday, despite fans being barred from attending due to the coronavirus pandemic. More than $23 million was bet on the 11-race card on the Arcadia track's 84th opening day, breaking the previous record of $20,491,016 set on Dec. 26, 2018, also for an 11-race card.
Santa Anita had no equine fatalities during its 16-day autumn meet, which concluded Oct. 25. Sixteen horses died in racing or training-related incidents during Santa Anita's 2019-20 winter/spring meet, which ended June 21.
The unraced 2-year-old filly Penelope Rose fractured her right front humerus while galloping during a workout at Santa Anita on Dec. 16 and was euthanized.