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32nd horse dies at Santa Anita Park

A starting gate stands outside the track on the final day of the winter/spring horse racing season at Santa Anita Park on June 23, 2019 in Arcadia, California.
A starting gate stands outside the track on the final day of the winter/spring horse racing season at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Emtech became on Saturday the 32nd horse to die at Santa Anita after being euthanized for injuries sustained in the 8th race, which saw 2-time Kentucky Derby-winning jockey Mario Gutierrez thrown from the 3-year-old colt, AP reports.

Why it matters: Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey announced in April an investigation into the Santa Anita Park horse deaths, and California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation designed to strengthen horse safety and race track accountability in June because of the issues at the racecourse.

What they're saying: Dionne Benson, chief veterinarian for Santa Anita owner The Stronach Group, said in a statement the racecourse would "open an immediate review into what factors could have contributed to Emtech’s injury," described as 2 broken forelimbs.

"Santa Anita will work closely with the California Horse Racing Board and will continue to brief our stakeholders and all of our constituents, including the public, as more facts come in. Emtech will undergo a necropsy at the University of California-Davis’ School of Veterinary Medicine, as is mandatory for all on-track accidents."
— Statement by Dionne Benson

Go deeper: Horse racing seeks normalcy in Kentucky Derby after unexplained Santa Anita deaths

Editor's note: This article has been updated with comment from The Stronach Group and its chief veterinarian.