Dan Agnew, Gerry Schneider and John Xitco's Law Aibidin Citizen came away victorious in the injury-marred running of Sunday's G3 San Simeon Stakes at Santa Anita Park. A 5-year-old gelding by Twirling Candy, Law Abidin Citizen paid $15.60 to win by a length over Cistron while heavy favorite Conquest Tsunami faded to fifth after setting fast early fractions. The first-time graded stakes-winning gelding is trained by Mark Glatt and was ridden by Tiago Pereira to complete 6 1/2 furlongs on the downhill course in 1:11.21.
During the San Simeon, 5-year-old Arms Runner appeared to take a bad step and fell to the ground, causing trailing rival La Sardane to fall over top of him. The incident occurred at the dirt track crossing near the quarter pole.
According to drf.com, Arms Runner suffered a “severe injury to his right front leg,” was vanned off the course and later euthanized. The son of Overdriven was a three-time winner trained by Peter Miller for Rockingham Ranch.
Martin Pedroza was aboard Arms Runner, and was able to ride the sixth race at Santa Anita. Ruben Fuentes, aboard La Sardane, was taken off his mounts for the remainder of the card while his mount appeared to emerge unscathed.
Sunday was the third day of racing at Santa Anita since March 3, when the track was shut down after a 22nd equine fatality of the meet. Arms Runner marks the 23rd fatality since Dec. 26.
Prior to Sunday's racing, Jeremy Balan (special to Horse Racing Nation) asked PETA's executive vice president Kathy Guillermo how the organization would react to another fatality at Santa Anita.
“We'll be going straight to the governor,” she responded. “I don't accept that horses will inevitably break down. I understand that is the reality, but when I look at an industry that hasn't done everything they can to ensure the horses are safe, I can't accept it.”
Balan also spoke to The Stronach Group's chief operating officer, Tim Ritvo, about his potential reaction to a 23rd fatality.
“I am terrified that one horse — one we did five exams on, and the track was perfect, and everything was going good — could go down,” said Ritvo. “We could be one or two accidents away — where nobody did anything wrong — from a referendum (to end the sport in California).”
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