Santa Anita Cancels Racing Indefinitely | TDN

Protestors gather outside the Santa Anita race track

Protestors gather outside the Santa Anita race track

Santa Anita has canceled racing indefinitely in the wake of a 21st horse fatality that occurred on the track since the winter/spring meeting opened December 26.

Lets Light the Way, a 4-year-old filly for owner-trainer Ron McAnally, was euthanized when veterinarians determined she could not be saved after injuring her right front leg during a training run Tuesday.

Santa Anita has suspended racing indefinitely after officials confirmed a 21st horse has died at the California racetrack, fuelling fresh safety concerns at the fabled course over the spike in fatalities.

The Grade I Santa Anita Handicap; Grade II San Felipe, a precursor to the Kentucky Derby; and Grade II San Carlos have all been postponed and will be rescheduled, according to Ritvo.

Bloodhorse cited California Thoroughbred Trainers president Jim Cassidy for news of the shutdown.

It was the ninth death from a training injury on the main dirt track.

Moore, 69, has more than 46 years of experience working with racing surfaces worldwide. Santa Anita is the 'Great Race Place, ' and it's not great.

The eight-time victor was taken from the course in a van but later returned to trainer Phil D'Amato's stable.

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Santa Anita Park has hired experts to evaluate the surface of its race track. With roots dating from the 1870s, the original Santa Anita Park opened in 1907 but closed after a few years, then the facility still in use was established in 1934 by a group of investors, including movie mogul Hal Roach.

Left scrambling in the wake of this historic announcement are the owners, trainers, and jockeys, not to mention the hundreds of on-track employees and backstretch workers.

"To me, it's the weather that is causing these breakdowns", McAnally said.

As the death toll has climbed over the past few weeks, Santa Anita has come under heavy criticism from animal rights activists, some of whom have staged protests at the track.

Mick Peterson, an expert from the University of Kentucky who was also enlisted to inspect the track, was not able to discern any irregularities, but he said that he told Santa Anita officials to "keep testing until we know what's going on".

"Twenty dead horses is 20 too many and the only responsible action is for the track to close immediately to stop this spiral of deaths", PETA said in a statement last weekend. Racing resumed February 28, but just two days later on March 2, Eskenforadrink broke down during the third race, which was held on the main track. "We have to give people the chance to train".

On average, there were 53 horse fatalities at Santa Anita Park each year from 2013 to 2018, according to data from the California Horse Racing Board.

Two more horses died following those evaluations.

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