Rick Arthur

Workouts Canceled at Santa Anita Tuesday Due to Air Quality

Santa Anita management sent a text to trainers Tuesday morning advising them that workouts would be canceled because of the air quality. "The AQI is at 159 this morning. We are going to cancel workouts and only allow gallopers and joggers," the text said. In conjunction with Dr. Rick Arthur, the Equine Medical Director at UC Davis, where he is assigned full time to the California Horse Racing Board, the Stronach Group has a policy that any air quality index about 150 could be unhealthy for horses, and that exercise...

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Los Alamitos Allowed to Continue Racing

In a teleconference Monday morning to discuss whether or not to suspend Los Alamitos' racing license, the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) voted in favor of the racing association, deciding that enhanced safety plans the track unveiled over the prior week satisfied board concerns after a rash of equine fatalities at the Southern California facility. "Are you committed to this plan over the long-term? Are you committed to trying to make a cultural change at Los Alamitos?" asked CHRB chairman Greg Ferraro, of Dr. Ed Allred, who owns and operates...

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“Not Set Up Like The FBI”: Racing’s Investigative Weak Spots

The shock announcement of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York's indictments against a slew of Thoroughbred veterinarians and trainers—and to a much lesser extent the California Horse Racing Board's (CHRB) long-awaited report into the equine fatalities at Santa Anita early last year—cast a kaleidoscopic shadow of speculation and questions marks over the industry. But one of the most salient takeaways from these two developments is surely this: What kind of investigative infrastructure is in place within the sport to catch the cheats and protect the...

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Responses to CHRB Fatality Report

One day after the bombshell announcement that the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York had filed indictments against 27 Thoroughbred veterinarians and trainers for an array of drug offenses, the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) released its long-awaited report on the 23 equine catastrophic injuries that marred Santa Anita during the first few months of its 2018-2019 winter-spring meet. The resulting report provides not only an extremely detailed dive into the multi-factorial nature of the causes behind these catastrophic injuries, but a lengthy series of recommendations...

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‘It’s a Cat and Mouse Game:’ CHRB’s Rick Arthur on Indictments

The latest bombshell to hit the racing industry was dropped Monday morning, when 27 individuals--including trainers Jason Servis and Jorge Navarro--were named in four separate indictments alleging that they had engaged in a "widespread, corrupt scheme by racehorse trainers, veterinarians, PED distributors and others to manufacture, distribute, and receive adulterated and misbranded PEDs and to secretly administer those PEDs to racehorses under scheme participants' control." The indictments list a number of illegal performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) that the 27 individuals allegedly manufactured, distributed and used. They include erythropoietin (EPO)--a hormone...

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Santa Anita Welfare Crisis: One Year On

This Sunday marks a year to the day Battle of Midway (Smart Strike) suffered catastrophic injuries during a morning workout at Santa Anita, unleashing a tempest of opprobrium the likes of which the industry has never before faced in terms of intensity and sustained impact. Of course, Battle of Midway's fatal injury wasn't alone the catalyst--the Jerry Hollendorfer-trained Breeders' Cup winner was one of three fatalities at the track within two days. His death was also the 18th to mar the facility since racing had resumed towards the end of...

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