Churchill Downs horse death toll reaches 12

For the second day in a row, and the 12th time since April 27, a horse is dead at Churchill Downs in Louisville.

Kimberley Dream, running in her 61st race, was euthanized after she pulled up in the upper stretch. She was running in the first race of the day Saturday at the famous racetrack.

She suffered an “inoperable … ligament rupture to her left front leg,” the track announced.

Her death comes less than 24 hours after Lost in Limbo tumbled into the dirt during the seventh race at the track Friday and was unable to get up.


Video obtained by Fox News Digital from PETA shows an ambulance driving up to the horse and employees putting up a curtain to hide him, presumably so doctors could put him down. He was 7 years old in his 35th race.

In her last five races, Kimberley Dream had lost by 19, 32½, 14½, 31 and 33 lengths, the Los Angeles Times notes.

From April 27 to the Kentucky Derby May 6, seven horses died from either injuries or collapsing on the track. Two of those horses died in the undercard of the Derby, and another, Wild on Ice, was supposed to run in the race that was won by Mage. Five have died after runs at the track since then.

“It is with absolute dismay and sorrow that we report this highly unusual statistic,” Churchill Downs said in a statement Saturday. “Our team members mourn the loss of these animals as we continue to work together to discover a cause and determine appropriate investments to minimize, to the degree possible, any avoidable risk in this sport and on our property. 

“We do not accept this as suitable or tolerable and share the frustrations of the public and, in some cases, the questions to which we do not yet have answers. We have been rigorously working … to understand what has led to this spike and have yet to find a conclusive [discernible] pattern as we await the findings of ongoing investigations into these injuries and fatalities.

“As with any matter under investigation, justice or answers are not always swift, but the commitment to being thorough is incredibly important. We understand the justified desire for answers yet also respect the process and authority of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) and the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA) when managing these important investigations. We are actively working in cooperation with these regulatory authorities and share their goal to improve the safety of this sport.”


Trainer Bob Baffert returned from his two-year suspension Saturday. He had been barred from the sport following a positive drug test for the original winner of the 2021 Derby, Medina Spirit. The horse was disqualified from the race and died that December.

In his return, one of his horses died during the Preakness Stakes undercard.

Havnameltdown sustained a “non-operable left fore fetlock” injury at Pimlico, and doctors made the decision to put the horse down.

PETA previously called Churchill Downs a “killing field” and called for the banning of Baffert prior to the Preakness.

More than 30 horses died in 2019 at the Santa Anita racetrack in California. The track closed down racing when the toll reached 21, and it revamped its safety protocols. Since then, horse fatalities have decreased by 55% in the state.

Churchill Downs said it is “focused on our responsibility to provide the safest racing environment possible on our property” in recent weeks.

“We simply will not allow these equine fatalities to be in vain …,” the track added. “We are committed to doing this important work and updating the public with our developments.”

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