By Ed Zieralski 2 p.m.April 12, 2013 Updated3:13 p.m.
ARCADIA — Trainer Bob Baffert has released a statement Friday through Eric Rose, a partner in the public affairs firm of Englander, Knabe and Allen, regarding the sudden deaths of seven of his horses in the last 16 months.
“The safety of my horses has been and always will be the most important thing to me. The mysterious deaths are personally troubling and of great sadness to me, my family and the owners of the horses. My heart goes out to the horses owners.
“I am working with everyone, including the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB), my veterinarians and staff at the tracks to find causes for the unexplained deaths. California Horse Racing Board’s Bo Derek and the state’s equine medical director, Dr. Rick Arthur have made it clear that nothing I have done has caused any horse I have trained to suffer equine sudden death syndrome. My professional focus will continue to be to provide the best care for my horses, with constant concern for their well-being.
“I hope that research by CHRB and its pathologists will discover information helpful to understanding the reasons that I, and many of my colleagues, have had horses suffer this unfortunate fate.”
Meantime, PETA has offered a $5,000 reward for a “whistleblower” on the backstretch who will step forward to identify what has caused 26 horses to die of sudden death at California racetracks since July of 2011.