Los Angeles Times

Horse racing industry fights for survival in wake of deaths and scrutiny

LOS ANGELES - Trainer Bob Baffert was standing on the front stretch at Santa Anita Park doing an interview for a local television station while horses worked out in the background.

Baffert was selling a "good story" about one of his top horses, Roadster, who will be running in the Kentucky Derby on Saturday. He was trying to mitigate the public's reaction to 21 horses dying during either racing or training at Santa Anita since Dec. 26.

"They start interviewing me and I see this horse coming down the stretch," Baffert said. "She's tired and I'm thinking to myself, 'Pull that horse up' while I'm doing this interview."

But about the same time the horse crossed the finish line, she fell, and a horn sounded signaling an accident on the track.

"It was just awful. It was bad," Baffert said. "What can you say? There is nothing you can say."

Princess Lili B became the 22nd fatality on March 14, having broken both her front legs, all captured on television and replayed many

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