Following series of tragic accidents at Santa Anita racetrack, the management has decided to suspend horse racing for the remaining part of the week. According to Los Angeles Times, 21 horses have had life-ending injuries, and this had led to the decision to put everything on hold for a while at the racetrack.
Many horse owners and race fans opine that the news of the suspension at this time was quite horrible due to series of events that have been outlined for the season. For instance, the Santa Anita Handicap event, a usually huge race for full-fledged horses is scheduled to take place on the 9th of March. The San Felipe Handicap race, a popular three-year old horses’ race in preparation for Kentucky Derby, was also slated for the same day. Unfortunately, both events would have to be postponed till a later date.
The most recent fatal accident at the track happened on the 5th of March, when a four-year old filly had an injury during a training session at the main dirt track. This incident made it the 9th death that occurred in the course of training. Seven other deaths have been recorded after racing at the same track and an additional five deaths from turf track racing. Within a space of two months, the recorded deaths at Santa Anita have already doubled the total fatalities it experienced in comparison with the year 2018.
Racing professionals have been astounded by this development and serious steps have been taken to look into the cause. Just last week, the track was investigated on the basis of irregularities by Safety & Racing Surface professional, Mick Peterson, but strangely, nothing was found. Peterson has decided to go over the test again in the hope that he would discover something he initially missed out.
Many have blamed the current stormy weather for the series of injuries and death at the track. According to the chief equine veterinarian of the state, Dr. Rick Arthur, the ability to maintain a dirt track with the level of rain the state has experienced will mean sealing it in the right way and at the right time.
In the development of the news, PETA has begun a protest against the track, even though horse fatalities have significantly reduced by about 60% within the last thirteen years.
According to a report, if Santa Anita is not able to re-open after this weekend, some of the slated events, such as the San Felipe Handicap, may be cancelled. In spite of the drawbacks to Kentucky Derby training, most trainers believed that it is best to put the safety of the horses first before anything else.