Race horse dies during training at Golden Gate Fields, tenth this year

A horse died during a training session at the Golden Gate Fields track in Albany on Friday, according to the California Horse Racing Board and an activist who opposes horse racing. 

The death of Arky Vaughan, a 3-year-old gelding, was the 10th horse race death at Golden Gate Fields and the 38th in California so far this year, according to activist Heather Wilson, who is based in the Los Angeles area. 

The horse's death "is criminal," said Wilson, who would like to see all horse racing eliminated. 

Officials at Golden Gate Fields couldn't be reached for comment. 

The racing track suspended all activities on April 2 due to the new coronavirus pandemic but plans to reopen next Thursday, although without spectators, California Horse Racing Board spokesman Mike Marten said. 

When Golden Gate Fields reopens it will be only the second track in the state to have horse racing, according to Marten. Alameda County's public health officer is permitting racing to resume there, he said. 

The Los Alamitos track in Orange County never stopped racing but hasn't allowed spectators since a public health emergency was declared due to the coronavirus, Marten said. 

Horse racing could resume at two other tracks in the state in the near future, he said. 

The California Horse Racing Board has taken a number of steps to make horse racing safer, according to Martin. 

"We have reduced the number of deaths considerably," he said.