Santa Anita, which concluded its 16-day Autumn Meet Oct. 25 with 1,106 horses racing and 51,200 training sessions since Sept. 5., when the Del Mar Summer Meet was winding down, had no racing or training fatalities during that time. The meet was pushed back due to the Bobcat Fire in the neighboring San Gabriel Mountains and the track did not host live racing until Sept. 25.
The main dirt track at the Arcadia oval has not had a single racing fatality in 2020, including during the Winter/Spring Meet which began in December. There have been a total of five 2020 racing fatalities from 5,069 individual starts, or 0.98 fatalities per 1,000 starters. That number is below the national average. According to Santa Anita, it is currently the safest racetrack in the nation.
“These results are the efforts of the racing community to put the safety of the horse first at every turn, including additional veterinary regulations and observations, training approvals, and analysis of entries,” said Chief Operating Officer of 1/ST Racing Aidan Butler. “Last year, we set a course to reform the sport of horse racing for the next generation. This year, we are seeing the results of the hard work everyone has put into this effort. We especially appreciate the dedication of the owners, trainers, veterinarians, and hardworking men and women who care for the horses, of the jockeys who have adapted their riding styles, the California Horse Racing Board which regulates the sport, and veteran trackman Dennis Moore and the entire Santa Anita track crew, who tirelessly work the surface day and night with safety top of mind.”
Santa Anita is home to the largest training facilities in the country, operating nearly year-round with over 400,000 annual training sessions. Live racing in Southern California will move to Del Mar beginning Saturday, Oct. 31, and is not slated to return to Santa Anita until Dec. 26.