Santa Anita

The Week in Review: Live Racing Hinging on Definition of ‘Essential’

Aqueduct Racetrack has been commandeered by the State of New York to be converted to a COVID-19 hospital. One day after an official from Santa Anita Park predicted a humanitarian crisis could erupt if live racing got shut down, county health officials ordered the spectator-free racing there to cease. Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano announced last Thursday that he has tested positive for the coronavirus, becoming the sport's most prominent participant to disclose an infection. Later that same day, six Belmont Park backstretch workers were additionally confirmed as COVID-19...

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Santa Anita: Jockeys, Agents Restricted Access

In an effort to resume live racing at Santa Anita as promptly as possible, starting Monday, March 30, jockeys will not be permitted on the track's backstretch and agents will be asked to stay off the grounds, according to a text circulated among the horsemen by track officials Saturday morning. This followed a sudden announcement Friday--with first post time looming--that Santa Anita, in accordance with Los Angeles County Health Department, would temporarily close for live racing "effective immediately" as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. That same day, California Thoroughbred...

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Santa Anita Park Closed by LA County Officials Due to COVID-19

Santa Anita Park was forced to close indefinitely Friday--making its announcement shortly before post time--on orders of the Los Angeles County Health Department in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Aidan Butler, acting executive director of California racing for the Stronach Group (TSG), confirmed via text that for now, training is unaffected at Santa Anita. The track issued the following statement: "In accordance with instructions received from Los Angeles County Health Department, Santa Anita Park will temporarily close for live racing effective immediately in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. "We apologize...

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Craig Fravel Joins TDN Writers’ Room

As the overseer of two of the biggest tracks still running races in the midst of the coronavirus crisis, The Stronach Group's CEO Craig Fravel has a lot of responsibility right now. As Saturday's GI Curlin Florida Derby at Gulfstream nears and the GI Santa Anita Derby follows next weekend, Fravel stopped by the TDN Writers' Room podcast presented by Keeneland to talk with Bill Finley about this tumultuous time. "Things seem to change on an hourly basis," Fravel said. "I think I was in Florida a week and a...

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TDN Writers’ Room for March 26, With TSG’s Craig Fravel

Santa Anita and Gulfstream are only two of the six tracks still racing in the U.S. This week, we check in with Craig Fravel from the Stronach Group to talk about the precautions they're taking. Also, the writers talk about the latest developments in horse racing with the coronavirus, and the challenges horsemen face.

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Mar. 27 Insights

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency RISING STAR TRIES WINNERS IN HALLANDALE 9th-GP, $51K, Opt. Clm. ($75K), 3yo, 1m, 5:12p.m. 'TDN Rising Star' EDGE OF FIRE (Curlin) faces winners for the first time Friday. The Chiefswood Stables homebred registered an impressive debut victory going six panels over this strip Feb 1. He faces another good-looking debut winner in Money Moves (Candy Ride {Arg}). The $975,000 OBSAPR purchase rallied to victory in his six-furlong unveiling in the slop here Feb. 15. Also looking to take his record to two-for-two is Saratogian (Empire...

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Santa Anita and Golden Gate Fields: Green Light for Live Racing

Santa Anita and Golden Gate Fields will conduct live racing as scheduled Friday and the rest of the weekend. A state-wide "stay at home" order California governor Gavin Newsom issued Thursday evening in an attempt to curb the spread of the coronavirus—telling residents to remain indoors with the exception of essential trips and services—had cast some doubts about the viability of live racing going ahead this weekend. But Aidan Butler, acting executive director of California racing for the Stronach Group (TSG), explained in a text Friday—with first post times looming—that...

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Pharoah, Into Mischief Firsters From Top Barns Highlight Santa Anita Turf Sprint

3rd-SA, $55K, Msw, 3yo/up, 5 1/2fT, 5:05 p.m. ET Well-regarded first-time starters from the Bob Baffert and John Sadler barns highlight this turf sprint early on Friday's card at Santa Anita. J Z MY MAN (American Pharoah) commanded $410,000 at Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream last spring following a :10 3/5 furlong breeze and has backed up that pricetag in the mornings for Baffert, showing a steady series of sharp works going back to late December capped by a best-of-219 bullet half in :47 3/5 Mar. 16 at Santa Anita. His dam, four-time...

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Santa Anita and Golden Gate Close Stable Gates to Outside Personnel

Santa Anita Park and Golden Gate Fields closed their stable entry gates to outside personnel at their racing and training as did San Luis Rey Downs. The stable entry gate closure will not extend to horses, as current scientific evidence suggests that horses cannot develop COVID-19 and therefore present no danger of transmission to other horses or people. The closure of the stable entry gates means that no new accompanying personnel, including jockeys, trainers or grooms, will be allowed onto the grounds with horses who ship from outside of California...

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Santa Anita’s PET and MRI Units “100%” Saved Lives

This time last year, Mathieu Spriet, associate professor of Surgical and Radiological Sciences at UC Davis, had an idea for a PET scan unit that could image racehorses standing up, but at that time, the project didn't have funding, the technology hadn't been developed, and no one knew for certain whether it would even work. One year later, and the physical manifestation of Spriet's dream--the Longmile Positron Emission Tomography (MILE-PET) Scan machine--has not only been at Santa Anita for three months already, but the findings from the initial set of...

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CHRB Files Complaints Related to Equine Fatalities

The California Horse Racing Board has filed 10 complaints against eight licensed individuals associated with equine fatalities at Santa Anita Park last winter. None of the complaints alleges the use of illegal medications. The individuals include five veterinarians charged with failing to turn in reports for medication administrations, as well as an owner training without a license and two trainers who delegated training duties. The complaints came to light during the CHRB's inquiry into the 23 equine fatalities at Santa Anita last winter. The complete Santa Anita Fatalities Report was...

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Elusive Quality’s Ce Ce Causes Beholder Mile Upset

Ce Ce sprung the upset in the GI Beholder Mile, defeating heavily favored Hard Not to Love. Four wide rounding the first turn, the chestnut stalked from a joint third early as the favorite was hounded on the front end as she set early splits of :22.63 and :45.72. Ranging up outside of Hard Not to Love on the backstretch, Ce Ce drew even entering the far turn and the duo battled halfway down the lane before Ce Ce kicked clear for the win. A debut winner at Santa Anita...

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