On Friday, Churchill Downs suspended trainer Saffie Joseph Jr., 36, after two of his horses died suddenly. The suspension prohibits Joseph, or trainers directly or indirectly employed by him, from entering in races and applying for stalls at Churchill Downs – owned tracks.

According to the Associated Press, the decision came in the backdrop of the deaths of Parents Pride and Chasing Artie – two horses trained by Joseph – on Saturday and Tuesday respectively.

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Bill Mudd, the president and chief operating officer of Churchill Downs, said in a statement: “Given the unexplained sudden deaths, we have reasonable concerns about the condition of his horses, and decided to suspend him indefinitely until details are analyzed and understood.”

“The safety of our equine and human athletes and the integrity of our sport is our highest priority. We feel these measures are our duty and responsibility.”

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Despite ongoing investigations, no cause has been found for the deaths of Joseph’s two horses within a 72-hour period, along with two other horses over the past week. This unfortunate series of events has created a somber mood at Churchill Downs during the final preparations for the Kentucky Derby, scheduled to take place on Saturday.

On Thursday, Joseph reported being questioned by investigators from both the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and Churchill Downs.

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Earlier on Thursday, Joseph, a third-generation trainer, stated that investigators had inspected his barn and reviewed the veterinary records of his horses.

Blood samples were also taken from each of his horses, but no abnormalities were found. In addition, the investigators scrutinized the feed, hay, straw, and supplements that the horses had consumed.