Officials at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, CA, announced late Wednesday afternoon that the track has received approval from the Los Angeles County Health Department to resume safe live racing beginning this 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 the COVID-19 virus.
“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.”
Protocols that will be in place 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 test to access, and revised saddling and pre-race protocol to increase physical distancing.
Butler continued, “We also want to thank our stakeholders, including the Thoroughbred Owners of California, the California Thoroughbred Trainers, the Jockeys Guild, our Santa Anita Park team and our fans for their patience during this pandemic. This has been a difficult time for all. Now we are focused on getting back to work in a safe and secure manner.”