The situation at Santa Anita went from bad to worse, and now worse than that. After re-opening Friday they were able to run two cards without incident. Sadly, it did not take much longer than that for another breakdown to occur. That in and of itself would be bad enough, and is something Santa Anita and the racing industry could not afford. What makes it hard to swallow as inherent to the sport or coincidence is the incident occurred as the horses crossed over the dirt strip on the downhill turf course.
During the running of the G3 San Simeon at six and a half furlongs down the hill, Arms Runner, under Martin Pedroza, appeared to take a bad step and go down just as he reached the dirt strip. La Sardene, a filly in against the boys was behind him under Rueben Fuentes who was subbing for Joel Rosario. They could not avoid the fallen horse and went down also. It looked on the slow motion replay like Arms Runner may have taken a bad step while still on the grass portion of the course just before the dirt but it was hard to tell. It was either just before or almost immediately after crossing over.
TVG reported both riders were being evaluated. Arms Runner who seemed to sustain a catastrophic injury was removed and vaned presumably back to the barn. It was later learned he was euthanized. La Sardene was up after the accident and appeared to be alright at least on the surface.
Arms Runner makes the 23rd fatality at Santa Anita this meet. That is a high number by any measure for a meet that opened December 26th.