"She suffered from exhaustion, although she could also have bled," said Dr. Don Dooley, the official track veterinarian. "She didn’t seem to be getting any oxygen into her, and her color was pretty bad. It’s not uncommon when a horse goes down like that they just give up, and she had pretty well given up."
Sweet N Salty had set the pace in the six-furlong maiden race, racing quick fractions of :21.15 for the quarter-mile and :44.82 for the half-mile before fading to ninth. Just past the finish line, she collapsed, throwing rider Martin Garcia. Quite a Stormkat was unable to avoid the fallen horse and unseated jockey Jose Valdivia. Garcia was taken to nearby Arcadia Methodist Hospital, while Valdivia stood up and appeared okay. Valdivia’s mount in the final race was scratched, and Alex Bisono replaced Garcia in the seventh race, the jockey’s only remaining mount.
Dooley said that the team was able to get some fluids into the filly while she was down.
"About the only thing you can try to do is to get her on her feet," he said, "because once she’s on her feet, then the circulation starts coming back the way it’s supposed to. When animals go into shock, the blood vessels dilate. Until you can counter that effect, you’re just not going to get anywhere."
For that reason, after the filly got up, she was allowed to walk off the track under her own power, to applause from the public, instead of being put into the horse ambulance.
The seventh race went off about a half-hour late, which also delayed the day’s stakes, the El Encino Stakes (gr. II), won by Sugar Shake.
Steward Scott Chaney said that had the delay lasted much longer, they would have given serious consideration to canceling one or more races because of darkness. "We were prepared to wait as long as necessary for the filly," Chaney said.
There was no immediate word on Garcia’s condition.
Sweet N Salty, who was making her first start, is owned by Brewer Racing Stable, Faurot, Haagsma, et al and is trained by Brian Koriner. She is a daughter of Salt Lake–Wed by Proxy, by Procida.