08/20/2016 11:51AM

Filly breaks down badly early on Pacific Classic Day


DEL MAR, Calif. – A filly broke down badly during a workout, and her rider was transported to a hospital during training Saturday morning at Del Mar, just hours before Del Mar was to present the biggest race of the summer, the $1 million Pacific Classic, featuring Beholder, California Chrome, and Dortmund.

Shortly after the first renovation break at 7:45 a.m., the 3-year-old filly Alicanto, trained by Eddie Truman, broke down just past the finish line after working five furlongs in 1:01.20. She was euthanized, bringing to 14 the number of horses put down after sustaining injuries while either racing or training here this summer. There were nine deaths last summer.

Her exercise rider, Manny Rotella, 65, was thrown to the ground and did not move until being placed on a backboard by paramedics, who arrived quickly and transported him to Scripps La Jolla Hospital. According to Truman, Rotella was complaining of pain in a wrist.

Alicanto raced once, last year at Del Mar. This was her sixth work here this summer.

Truman was watching the work from the stands and let out a shriek when the accident happened. He quickly hustled down to the track to assist those who arrived to help Rotella and Alicanto.

Training was halted when the incident happened. It reopened after a 30-minute delay.

– additional reporting by Steve Andersen




Arnoldo Rotela 5 months ago
Plus I'm sorry for Eddie he is a good men good trainer but this like this business  is ..we can't blame it at the track at the horse some time a wrong step can go all wrong
Arnoldo Rotela 5 months ago
That 66 year old is doing his job plus at his age he look way better  then a lot of jockeys and riders a lot trainers and jockeys plus ex riders wold agree  with me ... he is my  hero  that's why I'm proud  to say he my dad my hero 
Margaret French 5 months ago
It's been corrected to 16 fatalities. Something terribly wrong here. Rip girl.you didn't deserve this. Hope the rider is doing okay
realgooddogtoo 5 months ago
What a 66 year old is doing in breezing that filly ?
Julie Rapoza 5 months ago
I wonder if the filly died from stress fractures like Eight Belles or a heart attack! I know a vet who lobbies DC to start all racehorses at 3 instead of 2 years of age! He claims that we could save hundreds of horses per year! In addition, I will pray for the exercise rider for a speedy recovery!!
Aaron 5 months ago
Julie your remark is key. 
If we want the sport we love to survive they need to hold these horses from racing until 3 and the derby needs to be changed to 4 year olds. 
Bottom line. 
Proof is in the pudding. 
We finally got our era's triple crown winner so we can refute the "but but but its a 100 year tradition" argument, but finally getting a triple crowned was at the cost of hundreds of injured 2 and 3 year olds over the past 30-40 years. 
It's like a 13 year old growing boy pitching in the major leagues. 
Let that talented boy/body develop to 18 before we even think about the major leagues. 
Someone step it up!
Mike Eves 5 months ago
They better figure out something soon. PETA is going to have a field day with this.  There is something wrong if so many horses are breaking down in such a short period of time, 14 over a few weeks ?!?!  How many is too many ? If Del Mar ran a longer meet they wouldn't have any horses left at the end. And they are going to host the 2017 Breeders Cup ? Have fun with that.
Joel Firsching 5 months ago
Whats more important the horses' lives or money ?  Arent the  California horsemen saying money?.
Julie Rapoza 5 months ago
Unfortunately yes! I do know that the first curve is tight and possibly dangerous! I wonder if this filly had her bones break due to alot of stress such as what happened to our beautiful Eight Belles!! We need to change this now and start all racehorses at 3 instead of 2 years old! I know a vet who lobbies DC for this!!