Three horses died between Friday and Sunday at Santa Anita Park in Southern California. The track continues to struggle after experiencing 37 horse fatalities at the track last year.
The Takeaway: The dozens of horse deaths at Santa Anita Park resulted in scrutiny from animal advocates and lawmakers.
The California Horse Racing Board is currently investigating the cause of last year’s fatalities.
Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a law last June that allows the state to suspend racing at tracks when dangerous conditions exist. He also successfully pushed the horse racing board to pass additional safety and transparency measures.
The death on Sunday resulted from a collision during training. That differs from many of the other fatalities at Santa Anita, which occurred from breakdowns on the track.
What Lawmakers Are Saying: “It’s frustrating, certainly, because we’re in the midst of trying to regulate this … Any time there’s going to be a death, there’s going to be more and more scrutiny. And we know this particular track has had more than its share [of horse deaths].” — Sen. Bill Dodd (D-Napa)
The Horse Racing Board says the initial findings of its investigation will be announced by the end of the month. The details of each fatality case are expected in February. The report’s release has been delayed multiple times.
Meanwhile, lawmakers continue to push for changes in the sport. Dodd introduced legislation to increase veterinary review before races and increase transparency for drug testing.
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