Santa Anita Park has received approval from the Los Angeles County Health Department to resume live racing beginning Friday, May 15 as part of Los Angeles County’s revision of its Safer at Home guidelines. Racing will be conducted without spectators and with essential personnel following strict protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Protocols instituted include mandatory face masks and daily health screening including temperature checks and mandatory social distancing while on the property, increased sanitation procedures, the creation of a Restricted Zone, housing jockeys, valets and other essential personnel who must have a negative COVID-19 test to access, and revised saddling and pre-race protocol to increase physical distancing.
“We are very grateful for the open and continuous communication with both the Health Department and Supervisor Kathryn Barger’s office,” said Aidan Butler, executive director of California Racing Operations for The Stronach Group. “Supervisor Barger in particular, understood the importance of live racing to support thousands of individuals, and that we are able to accomplish it safely under these protocols.”
Before the pandemic, Santa Anita had begun implementing guidelines to address the number of horse deaths at the track. Over the weekend, Tailback, a 4-year-old gelding, was put down after a workout Sunday. Tailback was the 13th equine death at Santa Anita since late December.