The fatality rate for Thoroughbred horses running on synthetic surfaces continues to be far lower than the rate on dirt and turf surfaces, according to a Friday release by the Jockey Club of updated figures gleaned from the Equine Injury Database.
In 2012, the fatality rate per 1,000 starts on synthetic surfaces was 1.03, half the 2.10 rate for dirt surfaces, according to the data. On turf, the fatality rate was 1.74 per 1,000 starts.
A difference between the fatality rates first showed up in the 2009 data, when horses running on synthetic surfaces had a 1.49 fatality rate per 1,000 starts and dirt horses had a 2.10 rate. Since then, the fatality rate on synthetic surfaces has fallen every year, while the dirt rate has held steady.