(CNN) officials from Churchill Downs Celebrity home racetrack kentucky derby, She described the recent deaths of four horses as “unacceptable” and “disturbing”.
All four racehorses died in separate accidents within five days.
Since the start of Kentucky Derby week—on April 29—two horses have died suddenly of unknown causes on the track according to officials.
Pride’s parents passed away on Saturday and Artie’s chase on Tuesday. Both horses were trained by Saffie Joseph Jr.
“I’m devastated, basically, because I know it couldn’t happen,” Joseph said. CNN affiliate WDRB Wednesday.
“The odds of this happening twice are in the trillions. I’ve run close to 4,000 horsepower and it never happened. It doesn’t make sense.”
Joseph also trains the colt Lord Miles entered for the Kentucky Derby.
The 149th Derby, Triple Crown’s first horse race, is set to start Saturday in Louisville, Kentucky.
CNN has reached out to Joseph for comment.
According to Churchill Downs, two more horses died after suffering musculoskeletal injuries. Derby competitor Wild on Ice was injured in practice last Thursday and Tech Charge Brianna was injured in Tuesday’s race. Both were “euthanized for humanitarian reasons”.
“While a series of events like this are highly unusual, they are totally unacceptable,” officials said in a statement on Wednesday. “We take this very seriously and recognize that these troubling incidents are alarming and must be addressed.”
Churchill Downs said it was “working with regulators to conduct a prompt and thorough investigation”.
He added, “The safety and welfare of horses is a critical issue for which everyone in the industry shares responsibility; however, we will continue to take every measure to ensure we provide the safest environment for horses on our property.” Churchill Downs statement.
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