Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today released the following statement on more deaths at the Santa Anita Race Track:
“Santa Anita should have suspended racing in March after 23 horses died over a three-month stretch to open the season. Now that six more horses have died in just 23 days – 29 total deaths this season – the track should suspend racing immediately.
“The California Horse Racing Board, which previously held off on calling for a suspension, now agrees that racing should be halted for the remainder of this season. How many more horses need to die before they act?
“This isn’t an isolated year for Santa Anita. During the ’17-’18 season, 44 horses died; during the ‘16-‘17 season 64 horses died; and during the ’15-’16 season, 62 horses died.
“That’s 199 dead horses at one track in four racing seasons. Something is seriously wrong – whether it’s the track itself or problems with training or medication. No one seems to know, yet training and racing continues.
“I hail passage in the California State Senate of SB 469, the bill to authorize CHRB to suspend a race track’s license in order to protect health and safety of horses and riders. I urge the Assembly to pass the bill as soon as possible so more horses don’t die.
“We need to take a long pause and do a thorough review of Santa Anita: the track, the practices employed there, what medicines are used, how horses are trained. We need to get to the bottom of what’s going on and why so many horses are dying.
“With only two weeks left in the racing season, there’s no reason to wait for more dead horses. Terminate racing at Santa Anita and do it now.”