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Another horse dies at Churchill Downs

Rio Moon is the eighth horse to die at Churchill Downs in the past couple of weeks.
Horses at Churchill Downs
Posted at 2:37 PM, May 15, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-15 14:37:26-04

Rio Moon is the latest horse to die at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. 

The horse was part of the sixth race on Sunday when it suffered a "catastrophic injury" after reaching the finish line, according to Equibase, which compiles horse racing information.

Equibase says the horse was only a few strides past the finish line when the injury to its left leg occurred. 

Rio Moon is the eighth horse to die at Churchill Downs in the past couple of weeks. 

Mage 8, with Javier Castellano aboard, wins the 149th running of the Kentucky Derby horse race.

As Preakness approaches, questions on horse deaths in Kentucky remain

The sport of horse racing faces questions in the U.S. amid a "challenging" time. Seven horses died over a span of 10 days at Churchill Downs.

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The racetrack came under fire ahead of the Kentucky Derby after numerous horses died. 

Like Rio Moon, most of the horses died due to injuries suffered during racing or training.

While track officials called the deaths "completely unacceptable,” they stated that the track was safe. 

The bodies of two horses trained by Saffie Joseph Jr. that did not die while training or racing were sent to the University of Kentucky Veterinary Diagnostics Lab to determine their exact cause of death.

Joseph Jr. was also suspended after their deaths and was forced to pull one of his horses from the Kentucky Derby, which was won by Mage. 

On Saturday, Mage will attempt to win the second jewel of the Triple Crown in the Preakness Stakes.