(Reuters) – Two further racehorses have died since Friday at Santa Anita Park following a spate of 23 other equine deaths at the Southern California venue since December, multiple media have reported.
The gelding Spectacular Music suffered a pelvis injury in a race on Sunday and was euthanized on Monday, the Los Angeles Times and other media reported, citing racetrack officials.
It follows the death on Friday of three-year-old gelding Commander Coil, which suffered a fatal shoulder injury while training at the venue and became the 24th horse to die since Dec. 26, NBC News and other media reported.
In March, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office launched an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding horse deaths at the park, one of America’s premiere thoroughbred tracks, in Arcadia about 15 miles northeast of Los Angeles.
The district attorney’s office created a task force to investigate training and veterinary practices.
Racing at Santa Anita Park was suspended for about two weeks in March, while the main track was tested for safety, and reopened with new rules for both track safety and veterinary practices, track officials previously said.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) issued a statement late on Monday about the latest two horse deaths, acknowledging the new safety measures but calling for more action.
“Two dead horses in three days proves that more must be done to end training and veterinary practices that lead to broken bones,” the organisation, which is pushing for stricter laws governing horse racing, said in the statement.
In an unrelated incident, a three-year-old filly named Congrats Gal collapsed and died after racing at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore on May 17, a day before the Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the Triple Crown.
The cause of death was not immediately reported by officials.
(Reporting by Rich McKay in Atlanta; Editing by Greg Stutchbury)