Santa Anita Bans Drugs and Whips After Spate of Horse Deaths

One of horse racing’s maximum celebrated tracks, Santa Anita Park in Southern California, stated on Thursday that it might ban the use of drugs and whips on racing days after the loss of life of another horse there, the twenty-second for the reason that Dec. 26, an unusual spate that has confused investigators.

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Santa Anita, a few miles east of Pasadena, Calif., will be the first racetrack within the state to perform such restrictions, an attempt to repair public self-belief in a recreation that for many years has wrestled with drug and protection issues.
Track officials did now not say they’d pinpointed the reason of the deaths, but capsules and whips are a number of the factors under exam. Track situations and chillier and rainier weather than usual have also been beneath inspection.
It is doubtful whether the brand new guidelines will practice to different racetracks owned via the Stronach Group, including Gulfstream Park in South Florida and Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, the house of the Preakness Stakes.
“What has taken place at Santa Anita over a previous couple of weeks is past heartbreaking,” the corporation stated in an announcement. “It is unacceptable — unacceptable to the public and, as folks that deeply love horses, unacceptable to all of us at the Stronach Group and Santa Anita.”
“The sport of horse racing,” it persevered, “is the last great wearing legacy platform to be modernised. If we anticipate our recreation to grow for destiny generations, we need to boost our requirements.”

Santa Anita, called the Great Race Place, has held more than one Breeders’ Cup World Championships and is scheduled to host the event once more this 12 months on Nov. 1 and a pair of. Breeders’ Cup officers have been now not available for comment to say whether or not that became still the case.
The restrictions got here after the death on Thursday of the filly Princess Lili B. It changed into the second-day horses was returned at the tune after racing was suspended final week so government should re-observe it.
Princess Lili B broke each the front legs even as education. As is common after such accidents to horses, she changed into euthanised. The 22 deaths on account that Dec. 26 are extra than the whole variety of deaths, 20 over 122 racing days, in 2017, in step with Jockey Club information.
The track has been shut down two times this 12 months and stays suspended for racing.
The music’s policy changes came after an invoice, the Horseracing Integrity Act of 2019, turned into introduced in Congress on Thursday using Representatives Paul Tonko, Democrat of New York, and Andy Barr, Republican of Kentucky. The invoice might create a private, independent authority, the Horseracing Anti-Doping and Medication Control Authority, accountable for developing and administering a nationwide antidoping and medicine manage a program for horse racing.
The industry has resisted such adjustments for decades, and Santa Anita’s spike in fatalities once again placed the game’s lack of significant oversight in the highlight. The Stronach Group, underneath stress from animal rights businesses as well as horse running shoes, apparently had little desire but to take drastic measures to deflect blame.
“We will wait now not for the enterprise to come back together as one to institute those adjustments,” the agency’s declaration stated. “Nor do we watch for the rules required to undertake this paradigm shift. We are taking a stand and fully recognise how disruptive this is probably.”

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