Santa Anita Addresses Horse Deaths

The main track at Santa Anita was reopened after a two-day closure because of concerns over the number of equine deaths at California’s premier course in the last two months.

santa anita
Santa Anita Picture: Pat Healy Photography

It was reported that 19 horses have died either while racing or training at Santa Anita in that time including the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner Battle Of Midway.

He sustained severe injuries during a workout and had to be euthanized.

The track re-opened after an expert analysis of the racing surface.

Mick Peterson of the University of Kentucky evaluates the track’s soil on a monthly basis. He said the track was “100 percent ready” for racing to resume.

Heavy rain in Southern California this winter (11½ inches fell in February) may have created problems with the surface.

The Los Angeles Times reported that during the same two-month period last year 10 horses had died at Santa Anita. There were eight deaths in 2017 and 14 in 2016.

An animal welfare group had planned a protest about the situation but cancelled it after meeting track representatives.

Santa Anita says said there will be an extension of the review of medication records of horses in training.

Meanwhile World Approval, Eclipse Champion Turf Horse of 2017 and winner of the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Del Mar, has been retired.

The 7YO gelding will retire to Live Oak Stud in Florida where he will reside with his dam and multiple Graded stakes-winning siblings Revved Up and Za Approval.

World Approval won 10 stakes races and earned $US3,062,363.


Racing and Sports