It has been a very tough year in the horse racing world. Santa Anita Park Race Track in southern California has been in the news lately and not in a good way.
There have been 24 horses that had to be euthanized since January 1, 2019, due to an injury at Santa Anita Park. Santa Anita Park racing season started on December 26th, 2018 and ends on June, 23rd 2019.
They only open for a weekend in November to host the Breeders Cup World Championship Races on November 1st and 2nd 2019.
This kind of news hits the horse racing community hard. Nobody ever wants to see a horse get injured to the point of euthanizing.
Santa Anita Park closed their doors twice this year to figure out why so many horses are getting injured. Horses are not only getting injured during post time races but also during workouts at the track.
Owners of Santa Anita Park, The Stronach Group brought in an outside contractor to analyzed and test the track during the shutdown in March. They brought in Dr. Mick Peterson, from the University of Kentucky’s Agricultural Equine to check over the race track.
Mick checked the soil with radar and soil testing equipment and deemed it one hundred percent consistent according to the Paulick Report. This was back in March 2019 and yet there was still more injuries.
It has been said it could be due to the wet winter California has been having this year. Could so much rain be a factor in the horse’s injuries or is it really something else? I am a huge horse racing fan, I really would like to know the answer WHY!
Let’s Take a Moment
Let’s take a moment to remember the wonderful racehorses that left us way too soon. They have all raced to the Rainbow Bridge for Horses. They left their hoof prints on our hearts forever.
1. Tank Team a 3-year-old colt / Owner: KMN Racing LLC / Trainer: J. Keith Desormeaux
2. Unusual Angel a 3-year-old colt / Owner: McWilliams, Teresa and Whalen, Roger / Trainer: Alexis Barba
3. Secret Street a 3-year-old colt / Breeder: Headley & Old English Rancho (was never in a race)
4. Derby Treasure a 4-year-old filly / Owner: Derby, Susan, and Folgner, Gary / Trainer: Ruben Gomez
5. Noise Mandate a 3-year-old filly / Owner: Lo Hi Stable, Slam Dunk Racing, Barton, Richard, Marchosky, Ernest and Shaw, Ken / Trainer: Michael Machowsky
6. Amboseli a 7-year-old mare / Owner: D P Racing LLC / Trainer: James M. Cassidy
7. Like Really Smart a 3-year-old gelding / Owner: Benowitz Family Trust, Convergence Stable, Mathiesen, Mark and Powell, Mathilde / Trainer: Leonard Powell
8. Last Promise Kept a 5-year-old mare / Owner: Timothy B. Turney / Trainer: Thomas F. Proctor
9. Dancing Harbor a 4-year-old gelding / Owner: John Shumate / Trainer: Frank Lucarelli
10. Spitfire a 7-year-old gelding / Owner: Jay Em Ess Stable / Trainer: Brian J. Koriner
11. Comegowithme a 3-year-old filly / Owner: High Hill Racing and Garcia, Patricia / Trainer: Antonio Garcia
12. Jager Time a 4-year-old colt / Breeder: Terry C. Lovingier (was never in a race)
13. Unusual Rider a 3-year-old gelding / Owner: Williams, Mr. and Mrs. Larry D. / Trainer: Mike Puype
14. Hot American a 4-year-old gelding / Owner: Drakos, Chris, and Hanson, Ryan / Trainer: Ryan Hanson
15. Just Forget It a 4-year-old gelding / Breeder: Tommy Town Thoroughbreds, LLC (was never in a race)
16. Arms Runner a 5-year-old gelding / Owner: Rockingham Ranch / Trainer: Peter Miller
17. Charmer John a 3-year-old gelding / Owner: Ron Crockett, Inc. and Xitco, John V. / Trainer: Mark Glatt
18. Eskenforadrink a 4-year-old filly / Owner: Oscar Heredia / Trainer: Jorge Gutierrez
19. Let’s Light the Way a 4-year-old filly / Owner: Deborah McAnally / Trainer: Ronald L. McAnally
20. Princess Lili B a 3-year-old filly / Owner: Bernstein, David, and Philippian, Elizabeth / Trainer: David Bernstein
21. Battle of Midway a 5-year-old male / Owner: Don Alberto Stable and WinStar Farm LLC / Trainer: Jerry Hollendorfer
22. Commander Coil a 3-year-old gelding / Breeder: Great Expectations Racing, LLC (was never in a race)
23. Spectacular Music a 3-year-old gelding / Owner: Anderson, Nadine, and Miyadi, Steven / Trainer: Steven Miyadi
24. Kochees a 9-year-old gelding / Owner: Hollendorfer, LLC, Kenwood Racing, Inc. and Todaro, George / Trainer: Jerry Hollendorfer
25. Derby River a 2-year-old colt / Breeder: Brent Harris & Beth Harris (was never in a race)
26. Truffalino a 3-year-old filly / Trainer: Richard E. Mandella / Owner: Calumet Farm
Last Updated on June 10, 2019
We’ll keep this list up-to-date the end of the Santa Anita Racing Season on June 23rd, 2019. Let’s hope we don’t have to add any more names to this list.
What Santa Anita is doing?
Santa Anita Park closed their doors twice this year to look into why horses are getting injured. On March 5th and again on April 2, 2019, Santa Anita closed their doors to evaluate the track.
Santa Anita Park closed their doors from March 5th thru March 29th and again on April 2nd and 3rd to evaluate the track. They are taking this very seriously and want to take care of the horses that race at their track.
Santa Anita Park now has new rules in place for the well being of the horses and jockeys.
- Ban of all medications on race day
- Cushion Crop should be used for corrective safety measure
- Requires transparency of all veterinary records
- Increasing the time required that a horse is at Santa Anita Park before race day
- Strict out of competition testing
- Trainers must request permission to work with a horse 24 hours in advance
Santa Anita Park was founded in 1934 and has the nickname “The Great Race Place” and would like to live up to that nickname. Santa Anita Park and California Horse Racing Board CHRB announced Policy changes on April 1, 2019. For a full list of CHRB changes check out Santa Anita Press Release here.
Why do horses have to be euthanized?
The average thoroughbred racehorse weights around 1256 pounds. Horse’s don’t understand that they need time to recover and can not put all their weight on their feet.
That is why when a horse breaks or fractures a leg it is catastrophic. Bones need time to heal properly and trying to keep a horse from moving is very difficult and nearly impossible.
If a horses leg bone does not heal correctly it could risk the horse of getting infections, inflammation or circulations problems. Chances for a full recovery is unfortunately unlikely.
The cost of the treatments and the chances of a horse fully recovering are unlikely, owners tend to euthanize the horse.
Should Santa Anita Race Track reconsider having the Breeders Cup World Championship Races at their track this year? What are your thoughts?