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A horse and rider train at Churchill Downs on May 3, 2019 in preparation for the 145th Kentucky Derby. Photo: Michael Reaves/Getty Images

As the 145th Kentucky Derby is set to unfold on Saturday with a record-breaking guaranteed purse of $3 million, some are looking back at the horse racing world's last stint in national news: Santa Anita.

The intrigue: 3 of the horses racing on Saturday — Game Winner, Improbable and Roadster — are from Santa Anita Park, where 23 top-tier thoroughbreds died from unknown causes within 4 months, the Washington Post reports. When the death toll was 21, Axios reported that 7 horses died while racing on the dirt oval, 5 died during turf races and 9 died while training.

Where it stands: Trainers and jockeys interviewed by the Post emphasized that the Kentucky Derby will bring some normalcy back to the sport.

Go deeper: The Post interviews Kentucky Derby trainers, jockeys on Santa Anita deaths

Go deeper

Updated 4 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director defends agency's response to coronavirus pandemic — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Azar says deadly Capitol siege could "tarnish" Trump administration's legacy — Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.
Bryan Walsh, author of Future
11 mins ago - Politics & Policy

America is anxious, angry and heavily armed

Data: FBI; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Firearms background checks in the U.S. hit a record high in 2020.

The big picture: This past year took our collective arsenal to new heights, with millions of Americans buying guns for the first time. That trend coincides with a moment of peak political and social tension.

Mike Allen, author of AM
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

America on borrowed time

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Economic recovery will not be linear as the world continues to grapple with the uncertainty of the pandemic.

Why it matters: Despite being propped up by an extraordinary amount of fiscal stimulus and support from central banks, the state of the global economy remains fragile.

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