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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Rio Moon Becomes Eighth Recent Horse Fatality at Churchill Downs

  • Rio Moon, a three-year-old colt, was euthanized Sunday after suffering a leg injury on the track.
  • Five horses died at Churchill Downs in the weeks before the Kentucky Derby, and two died on race day.
Eight horses have died recently at Churchill Downs
Syndication: The Indianapolis Star

Rio Moon, a three-year-old colt, died after a race Sunday at Churchill Downs, becoming the eighth horse fatality in recent weeks at the site of the Kentucky Derby. 

Rio Moon was euthanized after he “suffered a catastrophic injury to his left foreleg a few strides after the wire,” according to notes in the race’s Equibase chart cited by the AP. The horse, trained by Dale Romans., had career earnings of $11,621 and had been ridden by Martin Garcia.

Before the Kentucky Derby on May 6, seven horses died at Churchill Downs, including two who were euthanized after being injured in undercard races on the day of the race. Five others were euthanized after training and racing incidents at the track in the days leading up to the Derby. 

Churchill Downs indefinitely suspended Saffie Joseph Jr. after the deaths of two horses he trained — Parents Pride and Chasing Artie. Lord Miles, another horse trained by Joseph, was scratched from the Kentucky Derby as part of his suspension.

Amid the continued tragedies, the global horse racing market is estimated to be worth $402 billion. Churchill Downs announced that this month’s Kentucky Derby set a new betting handle record of $288.7 million wagered on the race.

Mage won this month’s Kentucky Derby to earn $1.86 million for his owners, which include users of the Commonwealth investment app.

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