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19 Horses Have Died In 2 Months At This Southern California Race Track

The 2014 Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita Park on Nov. 1, 2014 in Arcadia. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
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The San Gabriel Valley's Santa Anita Park, known for its prestigious horse racing, has been dealing with a spike in horse deaths in the past couple months.

Since late December, 19 horses have died at the park, the majority of them on the track, according to the Los Angeles Times. Typically, the racehorses suffer broken bones and are then euthanized.

Park officials released a statement Sunday, saying the track in Arcadia would close at 9 a.m. Monday and stay closed all day Tuesday while Track Superintendent Andy LaRocco examined the surface "to fully evaluate sub-surface conditions such as moisture content and soil consistency."

But before that Monday morning closure took effect, another horse reportedly fell on the track and had to be euthanized, according to the L.A. Times, marking the 19th horse death at Santa Anita since Dec. 26 last year.

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In their statement, park officials mentioned the heavy rain that's fallen on the track in February.

"Although Santa Anita has experienced 11 ½ inches of rain and near-record cold temperatures this month," the park statement reads, "dry weather and more moderate temperatures are forecast for the next several days, which will enable LaRocco's crew to 'peel back' the track's cushion to a depth of approximately five inches, where a thorough examination of the base can be undertaken."

The director of the University of Kentucky's Agricultural Equine Programs is also being brought in "to review Santa Anita's sub-surface and surface data."

Park officials said the surface of the mile-long track is inspected daily by both Santa Anita and the California Horse Racing Board. Live racing is set to resume at 1 p.m. Thursday.

Ryan Fonseca and Brianna Flores contributed to this story.

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