Officials Investigate Head-On Collision During Horse Race

The Dec. 13 collision led to a horse being euthanized after a race at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races.
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An investigation into a head-on collision that led to the euthanization of a horse after a race at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races Dec. 13 did not result from malfunction of a warning system designed to alert riders to loose horses on the track, officials said Dec. 15.

The incident occurred in the fourth race at the Charles Town, West Virginia, track after Winningaswespeak, ridden by Carlos Marrero, clipped heels and lost the rider as the field made its way into the second of three turns in the 1 1/16-mile race. Winningaswespeak then turned in the other direction and ran along the rail through the stretch and around the first turn before colliding with Frisky Dixie, who was ridden by Carlos Castro.

Charles Town officials said neither jockey was seriously injured, though Shuler Stables’ Frisky Dixie was euthanized from collision-related injuries.

Charles Town director of racing operations Erich Zimny said Dec. 15 that track officials met with West Virginia Racing Commission (WVRC) state steward Danny Wright and the clocker who times the races. He also exchanged emails with track announcer Jeff Cernik, who attempted to warn the jockeys via the public address system during the race

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Tom LaMarra, a native of New Jersey and graduate of Rutgers University, has been news editor at The Blood-Horse since 1998. After graduation he worked at newspapers in New Jersey and Pennsylvania as an editor and reporter with a focus on municipal government and politics. He also worked at Daily Racing Form and Thoroughbred Times before joining The Blood-Horse. LaMarra, who has lived in Lexington since 1994, has won various writing awards and was recognized with the Old Hilltop Award for outstanding coverage of the horse racing industry. He likes to spend some of his spare time handicapping races.

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