08/20/2016 10:51AM

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