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Turf Paradise will administer prerace vet exams

PHOENIX -- Turf Paradise plans to start giving prerace veterinary examinations to all horses on a given day in an attempt to curb a recent rise in fatalities.

According to a recent study by the Arizona Department of Gaming, 50 horses were euthanized during the 2017-18 season at Arizona tracks.

That number is twice the national equine death rate at tracks.

Forty-five of those deaths were at Turf Paradise, and 27 of those were racing-related. The other 18 were due to training, illness or disease.

Turf Paradise officials announced Wednesday that starting March 18, about 65 horses will be examined on race days.

Previously, about 15 horses received prerace exams per day based on selections by the stewards.

Turf Paradise has 131 live racing days per year from mid-October to early May.

The thoroughbred and quarter horse racetrack opened in January 1956.