Santa Anita Park has canceled racing and training indefinitely, pending a safety evaluation of its main track, according to California Thoroughbred Trainers president Jim Cassidy.
A week ago Santa Anita shut down the main track for training after Lets Light the Way was fatally injured while training on the Santa Anita main track. The 4-year-old filly was the 21st equine fatality related to racing or training at Santa Anita since its meet opened Dec. 26 and the fourth fatality related to training on the main track since Feb. 23.
Andersen cited Tim Ritvo—the chief operating officer of The Stronach Group, which owns Santa Anita in his report on Santa Anita's decision to cancel racing.
Earlier in the day Tuesday, Cassidy said training on both the main track and the training track at Santa Anita would be shut down, but that he is working to get the training track open for horses to gallop during the weekend, and stressed the importance of exercise for horses in training, even if it is limited. Of the nine equine fatalities during training at Santa Anita since Dec. 26, none have occurred because of injuries on the training track, which sits in between the infield and the turf course.
He decided to cancel racing came just days before one of the most important cards on Santa Anita's stakes schedule, the March 9 slate that featured two grade 1 events (the Santa Anita Handicap and the Frank E. Kilroe Mile) and a pair of grade 2 races, including the San Felipe Stakes, an important prep race for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (Gr.1). The press release issued by The Stronach Group Tuesday night said the stakes would be rescheduled.
California Horse Racing Board spokesman Mike Marten said the regulatory agency supports Santa Anita's decision to cancel racing.