07/10/2003 11:00PM

Two to stand trial in horse death


Two men accused of killing a stakes-placed Thoroughbred mare on April 26 were ordered Thursday to stand trial in Sonoma County Superior Court in California on charges of animal cruelty.

Liobijildo Guzman Herrera, 22, and Noel Guido-Silva, 22, of Boyes Hot Springs, Calif., pleaded not guilty to the animal cruelty charges but may face additional charges in the death of 24-year-old Gentle Song, who was apparently chased and run down by a pair of motor vehicles in a fenced pasture in Kenwood.

Hererra and Guido-Silva are being held on $100,000 bail and will return to court on July 24.

Gentle Song was third in the 1982 Canadian Oaks and was also stakes placed as a 2-year-old. She won 3 of 27 starts, earning $65,329. She was the pet of a 13-year-old girl at the time of her death.

Both Herrera and Guido-Silva claimed the mare's death was accidental. Prosecutor James Patrick Casey called the claims "ludicrous" based on tire tracks, hoof prints, acceleration marks from the tires of the two vehicles, as well as damage to Herrera's truck.

The two were arrested when an informant provided details after a $20,000 reward was posted.