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Officials Report Dramatic Drop of Horse Fatalities in Santa Anita Park

With racing completed in Santa Anita Park’s winter-spring season, track officials today hailed what they called major improvements in horse safety that made the facility the safest track in North America compared to those with similar racing and training activity.

According to track officials and California Horse Racing Board records, there were three racing fatalities at the track during the meet from among more than 4,800 starters, and no musculoskeletal racing fatalities occurred on the main dirt track.

CHRB records show a total of nine equine deaths at the track during
the winter-spring season.

Park officials called the safety record a 62.5% improvement over the
previous year, and a 74% improvement since spring of 2019.

A total of 42 horses died at the facility in 2019, sparking widespread debate about safety issues at the track and about horse-racing in general. The uproar led to procedural and veterinary oversight changes at the park.
“These results highlight the efforts of the entire racing community
to put the safety of the horse above all else,” Nate Newby, senior vice
president and general manager of Santa Anita Park, said in a statement.

“The diligence and dedication of the owners, trainers, jockeys, veterinarians and the hardworking men and women who care for the horses each day are truly revolutionizing the sport. We are especially indebted to our Santa Anita Park track crew, led by veteran Dennis Moore, whose tireless efforts have been instrumental in this success story. None of the protocols, however, work without our horseplayers who have backed this transformation, and we are grateful for their continued

Park officials noted that Santa Anita is one of the largest year-round
training facilities in the nation, the scene of more than 375,000 training
sessions annually.

Racing will resume at Santa Anita on Sept. 30 for the five-week fall meet.

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