The start of the fall season at New York’s Belmont Park is off to a tragic start with three horse deaths recorded during the first two days.
The New York State Gaming Commission’s equine database shows that Passporttovictory and Royal Inheritance both died on the track’s opening day last Friday.
Mo Moxie died a day later.
Passporttovictory was euthanized after pulling up while running in a race. Royal Inheritance collapsed and died while training. Mo Moxie flipped after being spooked while jogging and suffered a broken tibia before being euthanized, according to records.
The database shows that 68 horses have died at various New York tracks since racing started this year on Jan. 2 at Monticello Raceway.
Twenty-five of those deaths have occurred at Belmont Park, home of the third leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown.
Attention to horse safety shifted to New York after the season at California’s Santa Anita Park saw 30 horses die.
Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer was banned from Santa Anita after the fourth horse under his watch died at the park. Hollendorfer criticized the ban as premature.
Wednesday’s report from the New York Times that 2018 Triple Crown winner Justify failed a drug test prior to the Kentucky Derby while under the care of famed trainer Bob Baffert has further increased scrutiny of the treatment of animals in the high-stakes world of horse racing.
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