Churchill Downs Investigating Deaths Of Four Horses Just Days Before Kentucky Derby

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Churchill Downs has opened an investigation after four horses have died at the site of the Kentucky Derby since April 27. The 149th running of the race is set to take place on May 6.

Wild On Ice was euthanized on April 27 after suffering an injury to his left hind leg while training at Churchill Downs. According to the horse’s owner, Frank Sumpter, the three-year-old ran five furlongs before being pulled up by the jockey while galloping on the backstretch.

Wild On Ice being euthanized made headlines with the Derby fast approaching, but now it has been discovered three other horses have died in the lead-up to the race.

Wild On Ice Euthanized Just Days Before Kentucky Derby
Churchill Downs has opened an investigation into the death of four horses ahead of the Kentucky Derby. (USA Today/Imagn)

Take Charge Brian was hurt while competing in a turf race on Tuesday and later euthanized.

The two other horses that died were Chasing Artie and Parents Pride who died on Thursday and Saturday, respectively. Neither of them was euthanized, instead, they both collapsed and died after racing at Churchill Downs. 

An investigation and complete necropsies are taking place involving the deaths of Chasing Artie and Parents Pride.

Both horses were owned by Ken Ramsey and trained by Saffie Joseph Jr.

Joseph was stunned by the news, telling USA Today “This is something that doesn’t happen. I’m shattered, basically, because I know it can’t happen. The odds of it happening twice is in the trillions. I run almost 4,000 horses and it never happened. It doesn’t make sense.”

Churchill Downs released a statement following the incident saying the series of events are both “highly unusual” and “completely unacceptable.”

Written by Mark Harris

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