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Racing suspended at Laurel Park following 'catastrophic injury' and death of horse

Racing suspended at Laurel Park following 'catastrophic injury' and death of horse
Racing suspended at Laurel Park following 'catastrophic injury' and death of horse 02:10

BALTIMORE -- Racing has been suspended at Laurel Park after two horses were seriously injured on the track.

A 4-year-old colt named Golden Pegasus sustained a "catastrophic injury" during the races at Laurel Park on Thursday afternoon and tossed Jockey William Humphrey in the process.

Golden Pegasus had to be euthanized on the track, according to race notes on Equibase.

The following morning, the Maryland Jockey Club announced on Twitter that racing at the park had been canceled until further notice.

Hours later, the Maryland Jockey Club released a statement noting that after consultation with the Maryland Racing Commission, racing will be canceled at Laurel Park over the weekend while the club "works with the Maryland Racing Commission to understand and address any issues of concern raised relating to recent injuries."

"MJC will also be discussing plans for implementation of updated safety and veterinary protocols similar to those that have been in place in California since 2019 and have proven to significantly reduce the number of equine fatalities during racing and training," the statement said.  

The decision to pause racing at the park comes after a group representing horse owners and trainers in Maryland called for its dirt track to be evaluated.

Earlier this month, the Maryland General Assembly wrapped up its 90-day legislative session. Among the bills passed during the session is one that would create a nine-member Maryland Thoroughbred Operating Authority.

That authority would oversee delayed plans for infrastructure improvements at Pimlico Race Course—home of the Preakness Stakes—and Laurel Park. 

Laurel Park experienced a similar loss last year.

In October 2022, a three-year-old colt named Hooky Player had to be euthanized and another horse also reportedly tumbled. Two jockeys were injured, and one of them broke their collarbone. 

The horse industry is big business in Maryland, with the famed Preakness every year at Pimlico.   

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