California Legislature Approves Racing Safety Bill

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Santa Anita | Benoit

The California Legislature voted Sunday night to approve a bill designed to improve horse racing safety in the state.

“We must do everything possible to make horse racing safer for animals and jockeys, and this bill takes another step in that direction,” Sen. Bill Dodd, sponsor of the bill, said in a statement released by his office Monday. “I thank the Legislature for approving my plan, which will help ensure track conditions are right and horses are fit before they hit the starting gate.”

Senate Bill 800 is expected to incorporate reforms recommended by the California Horse Racing Board, including improved veterinary medical review prior to races and increased transparency in drug testing. After passing the State Senate and Assembly Sunday night, the bill will head to Governor Gavin Newsom to sign.

Last year, in the wake of a series of equine fatalities at Santa Anita, Dodd introduced Senate Bill 469, which was signed by Gov. Newsom, allowing the California Horse Racing Board to suspend racing at tracks where perceived dangerous conditions exist.

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