Updated:WASHINGTON, Pa. —
The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is investigating the deaths of two horses minutes apart at The Meadows Racetrack & Casino in southwestern Pennsylvania.
Officials at the harness racing track about 15 miles south of Pittsburgh say an 8-year-old mare, Lislea Isabella, suffered some sort of respiratory distress and died as she prepared to run in the 14th race Monday afternoon. Another horse, 7-year-old Little Bit Tricky, then died while running in the 15th race.
Mike Jeannot, president of Meadows Racing, says he hasn't "seen this in the 20 years I've been around." Kim Hankins, executive director of the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association says having two horses die so closely together is "phenomenally coincidental. It's unbelievable."
Agriculture officials have confirmed they're investigating, but the department's press secretary could not immediately offer additional comment Wednesday.