by Santa Anita Park Press Release
October 26, 2020
Arcadia, CA (Oct. 26, 2020) -- Santa Anita Park concluded the Autumn meet as the safest racetrack in the nation, without a single racing or training fatality since the horses returned from Del Mar on Sept. 5. During that time period, which includes the 16-day Autumn racing meet which was delayed because of the Bobcat Fire in the neighboring San Gabriel Mountains, 1,106 horses raced over the dirt track and turf course. Additionally, horses recorded over 51,200 training sessions, including 3,771 timed workouts over the main track and 487 over the training track.
The main dirt track has not had a racing fatality in 2020, including the 2019-20 Winter/Spring meet which began in December.
In 2020 there have been five racing fatalities from 5,069 starts, or 0.98 fatalities per 1,000 starters, well below the national average.
In addition to hosting some of the most prestigious races in the nation, Santa Anita is home to the largest training facilities in the country, operating nearly year-round with over 400,000 annual training sessions.
“These results are the efforts of the racing community to put the safety of the horse first at every turn, including additional veterinary regulations and observations, training approvals and analysis of entries,” said Aidan Butler, Chief Operating Officer of 1/ST Racing. “Last year, we set a course to reform the sport of horse racing for the next generation. This year, we are seeing the results of the hard work everyone has put into this effort.
“We especially appreciate the dedication of the owners, trainers, veterinarians and hardworking men and women who care for the horses, of the jockeys who have adapted their riding styles, the California Horse Racing Board which regulates the sport, and veteran trackman Dennis Moore and the entire Santa Anita track crew, who tirelessly work the surface day and night with safety top of mind.
We acknowledged last year that this modernization would likely lead to a short-term impact on Santa Anita’s field size, but as these reforms become the national standards, California is ahead of the implementation curve which strengthens the sport in our state. We sincerely thank the bettors who have continued to support our racing product during this transition.
“On behalf of everyone at Santa Anita, we’d also like to let our fans know how much we’ve missed their passionate voices cheering these horses at The Great Race Place and we look forward to welcoming everyone back just as soon as we are able to do so.”
Live racing will return to the Arcadia oval at Santa Anita Park as tradition dictates on Dec. 26.