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At Arcadia Council Meeting Santa Anita Race Track Announces Racing Closure Following Horse Deaths

Training at the Santa Anita Race Track. – Courtesy Photo

By Galen Patterson

City Council met on March 5 for a regular gathering of local legislation and presentation.

The council allowed a priority speaker to address the council and city. A representative of the Santa Anita Racetrack announced that all racing will be suspended at Santa Anita. “There will be no racing, effective immediately…racing will resume at an undetermined date,” said the representative. The decision was made following a horse fatality on the grounds. The representative told the city that the most important priority for his company is the lives of the animals, horsemen, and employees of the company. “The safety of everyone involved is absolutely our number one, top priority, and that’s why the decision was made,” he said.

Several important races at the racetrack are likely cancelled, including the 82nd Santa Anita Handicap, San Carlos Stakes (Grade 2), and San Felipe Stakes (Grade 2).

To view Santa Anita’s calendar, click here.

In total, 21 horses have died at Santa Anita since December.

The deaths come from different activities, some from racing, others from training.

While the cause of the deaths are varied, and not yet officially determined, the dirt has been tested to make sure it is safe, and has been cleared. The racetrack is currently testing everything at the facility.

Several of the horses have been euthanized because of sustained injuries during activity.

An owner of one of the horse fatalities thinks that the weather may be to blame, with abnormal and excessive rainfall coupled with cold temperatures.

The closing of racing at Santa Anita spells financial loss for the city, but Councilmember Roger Chandler thanked the racetrack for recognizing the epidemic, and stopping performance to fix the problem before it gets worse.

Prior to the announcement, the evening began with a brief presentation from the Pasadena Humane Society, who regularly brings in adoptable animals.

This time, the adoptable animal, Ziggy, a transplanted dog from the Bay Area, reportedly had “adverse reactions,” according to the humane society representative, and was removed from the council chambers.

Mayor Sho Tay proclaimed March 5 as Arbor Day for the city of Arcadia, and Arcadia High School donated a vintage marching band uniform to the city for preservation. The uniforms were in service within the school from 1996 to 2016, when they were replaced and the new uniforms were showcased at the Rose Parade in 2017.

350 of the old uniforms are now up for sale, and the proceeds will go to the raising of $50,000 for new facilities. To purchase the uniforms, they can be found at arcadiamusic.org or on the group’s Facebook page.

March 6, 2019

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Galen Patterson


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