It’s hard to say how many fatal paddock fractures and “sudden cardiac events” occur just prior to scheduled races, for these deaths are typically buried as mere “vet scratches” on the official race charts. Sometimes, though, insight comes from other sources, sources like California’s publicly-posted stewards minutes. In the last week of July, there were two such incidents:
July 29, 7-year-old Merry Moon, “deceased” prior to the 3rd at Los Alamitos
July 30, 3-year-old Tiz a Lucky One, “euthanized” prior to the 8th at Santa Rosa
Both, scratches on Equibase because, you know, dead horses can’t run.