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Eighth Horse Dies at Churchill Downs Within Monthlong Span

An eighth horse has died at Churchill Downs within the past month.

Rio Moon, trained by Dale Romans and ridden by Martin Garcia, was euthanized on Sunday (May 14) after injuring his front leg during the finish of Race 6 at the historic track, which hosted the 149th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 6, CBS Sports reports. Five horses had died in the days leading up to the Kentucky Derby, while two others were euthanized following injuries "in the interest of pursuing the most humane treatment for each horse," Churchill Downs announced in a press release shared on May 7.

"While each incident reported has been unique, it is important to note that there has been no discernible pattern detected in the injuries sustained," representatives said. "Our track surfaces are closely monitored by industry experts to ensure their integrity.

"Each horse that participates in racing at Churchill Downs must undergo multiple, comprehensive veterinarian exams and observations to ensure their fitness to race."

Churchill Downs said it was committed to working with the Kentucky Horseracing Commission (KHRC) and the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA) in its investigation into whether any underlying health or environmental causes were linked to the deaths of the horses.

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