Horse dies after Del Mar racing accident, jockeys in hospital

Posted at 7:58 PM, Aug 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-05 02:22:11-04

DEL MAR, Calif. (KGTV) -  Race horse Irish Spring died after falling during the last race at the Del Mar Racetrack Saturday evening.

Jockey Corey Nakatani was riding him while Geovanni Franco was riding Bitter Ring Home, who tripped over Irish Spring.

The jockeys were both alert and talking but were taken off the track in neck braces as a precaution, said Mac McBride with the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club.

McBride said Irish Spring fell after clipping heels with a horse that cut in front of him during the final stretch of the race. Bitter Ring Home then tripped over Irish Spring but did not appear to be injured.

After the accident, the jockeys were lying on the grass near the inner rail. A horse ambulance and a regular ambulance were immediately brought onto the track. 

The collision comes two weeks after jockey Victor Espinoza suffered a neck injury when his horse, Bobby Abu Dhabi, collapsed beneath him during a practice ride.

McBride said they are awaiting the results of a necropsy but believes the horse died from cardiac arrest.

"I would say it is a little bit unusual to lose two horses in this way," said McBride.

The cause of death for Irish Spring was not immediately known, but McBride said the veterinarians did not euthanize the horse. A necropsy will be performed to determine exactly how he died.