2 riders sent to hospital, 7 horses hurt after mid-race spills at California racetrack

Horses sustained minor lacerations, no serious injuries.
Posted at 5:13 PM, Aug 23, 2021

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Two riders were sent to the hospital, and seven horses sustained minor lacerations after a series of mid-race spills at the Del Mar Racetrack in San Diego, California Sunday afternoon.

None of the horses or riders sustained serious injuries, according to the racetrack.

The series of spills during Sunday's seventh race at the track began when "Sassy Chasey" and rider Diego Herrera clipped the heels of "Katie’s Paradise" with rider Jose Valdivia, Jr., who was leading the race at the time, according to the racetrack.

When Sassy Chasey fell, several other horses fell over, including "Phoenix Tears" and Tiago Pereira, and "Siena Silks" with rider Emily Ellingwood. Other horses had their riders jump clear and go to the ground to avoid any injuries.

According to the racetrack, Del Mar Racing veterinarian Dr. Dana Stead said the horses involved sustained minor lacerations.

The racetrack said two riders were hospitalized after the incident. Three riders in the incident, apprentice Cesar Ortega, apprentice Emily Ellingwood, and Tyler Baze, were taken to Scripps La Jolla for "further evaluation," according to the track. Rider Tiago Pereira later went to the hospital as well due to hip discomfort.

All riders were released to return home on Sunday.

The race was ruled "no contest," meaning that all bets for the race were returned.

This story was originally reported by Krista Summerville and Mark Saunders on