ARCADIA, Calif. — The loose espresso became flowing, the horses were already into their morning workout routines, and the solar turned into no longer but up over the San Gabriel Mountains. These mornings at Clocker’s Corner, a breakfast spot for equestrians and different hangers-on on the storied Santa Anita Park, are generally full of gossip and banter. On Friday, though, there has been most effective apprehension. A day earlier, the song owners announced strict new rules for their game — no race-day tablets, no use of whips — in response to a spate of horse deaths, 22 because of the cease of December.

 Horse Racing

The new rules have no longer most effective placed trainers and owners on the music on a word; however, additionally convulsed a multibillion-dollar enterprise from Kentucky to New York that has resisted meaningful oversight for many years. The stakes are excessive, specifically in California, where the animal rights movement is powerful, and all it takes is six hundred,000 signatures on a petition to set off a ballot initiative on whether or not horse racing must even exist here.

Even more harrowing is the reality that Los Angeles County district lawyer’s office investigators are searching into deaths on the behest of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. “This may be the result in California,” said Gary Stute, 62, a teacher like his father before him and stalwart of the racing circuit. He stated it became painful to look at the game he cherished “dragged thru the dust, and us as trainers via the dust, that you don’t care approximately the horses.”

He brought: “I love the horses. I’m closer to those horses than my sisters.” While racetrack proprietors and leaders of enterprise organizations acknowledged Friday that horse racing becomes at a critical moment, no person turned into in a rush to join the Stronach Group, the organization that owns Santa Anita, Golden Gate Fields in San Francisco, and much more excellent, in a set of protection upgrades that might put American horse racing in keeping with the relaxation of the world.

Throughout the country, many horse trainers say the medicinal drug is aimed at keeping athletes healthy and competing, whether they may be human or equine, and the running shoes do now not need to give up rights to preserve athletes’ healthy. They see the whip as a non-issue because they say it’s far not often used, does not inflict a good deal ache, and facilitates jockeys control horses more than it makes them run faster.