DEL MAR, Calif. - A beautiful summer evening at the Del Mar races took a tragic turn in the sixth race when a 4-year-old filly named "Yes She's Unusual" broke her leg while running full speed.
Two horses next to her were bumped by the injured horse. Their riders, Drayden Van Dyke and Tyler Baze, anticipating a collision, jumped off their horses.
Beth Morgante was in the stands.
"You know they're racing along full speed and the next thing we know, there's horses coming by us and there's no rider on him," she said.
Yes She's Unusual had to be put down. Her jockey, Brice Blanc, was taken to Scripps La Jolla Hospital with an arm injury. A representative said he may also have a concussion.
"Everybody here at the race track is feeling terrible about that," said Mac McBride, the director of media for the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club. "It is absolutely the worst part of our game."
Then, in the very next race, another horse was hurt and also had to be put down.
"To be honest, we're not off to a good start," McBride said. He recalls losing 9 or ten horses last season.
Kelly Ricks also saw the collision in the sixth race.
"It was so disheartening," she said. "We were watching the race, watching the numbers go through and then one of them just dropped off and we saw the horse tumble and the jockey had fallen down. It was totally heartbreaking."
All of the other jockeys and horses involved were checked out and are doing OK.