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Santa Anita suspends racing because of coronavirus :_(

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Santa Anita suspends racing because of coronavirus

 

Santa Anita immediately stopped live racing Friday because of the coronavirus after instructions from the Los Angeles County Health Department.

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Filly dies after training at Santa Anita

ARCADIA, Calif. — There’s been a horse fatality at Santa Anita, which is temporarily closed for live racing because of the coronavirus pandemic.

It’s the seventh death at the track in Arcadia since December.  :-(

https://www.yahoo.com/sports/filly-dies-training-santa-anita-142819353.html

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Training accident leads to 12th horse death at Santa Anita since Dec. 26 https://www.yahoo.com/news/training-accident-leads-12th-horse-210326839.html

Jockeys and their horses race at Santa Anita race track. <span class="copyright">(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)</span>

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Santa Anita gets permission to resume live horse racing Friday

John Cherwa

LA TimesMay 13, 2020, 5:31 PM PDT

 

One of the first steps in sports returning to Southern California came Wednesday when Santa Anita was given permission to resume live horse racing on Friday. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

One of the first steps in sports returning to Southern California came Wednesday when Santa Anita was given permission to resume live horse racing on Friday. The track has been closed to live racing since March 27 when the Los Angeles Department of Public Health closed the track for racing, but allowed morning training.

 

The remainder of the meeting, which concludes on June 21, will likely be held without spectators and anyone but essential personnel. The track has implemented protocols where jockeys will receive daily health checks and will be housed on the track property. Trainers and backstretch workers will also be getting daily temperature checks. About 750 workers live on the backstretch of the track.

Nearly all employees will be required to wear face masks. Jockeys, when riding horses, generally are within social distance guidelines when racing and certainly during all pre- and post-race activities. The winner’s circle will also be shut down during this period.

 

Owners and other non-essential people will be barred from the track. In addition, track-employed grooms will take control of the horses as race time approaches in order to reduce the number of people in the process. Normally, every horse is controlled by grooms for each individual trainer.

“We are very grateful for the open and continuous communication with both the health department and supervisor Kathryn Barger’s office,” Aidan Butler, executive director for California racing for the Stronach Group, said in a statement.

Golden Gate Fields, owned by the Stronach Group, was allowed to resume racing Thursday by order of the Alameda County Public Heath Department. Los Alamitos, in Orange County, has been allowed to continue spectator-less racing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Butler told The Times that the track probably would run only three days a week, except for Memorial Day weekend when it would add Monday, for the remainder of the meeting.

In anticipation of racing, the track drew entries Tuesday. There are 94 horses eligible to run on Friday’s nine-race card. No race has fewer than nine horses. Prior to the shutdown, it was not unusual to see five or six horses in a race.

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Return to live racing at Santa Anita is big hit with bettors

John Cherwa
LA TimesMay 15, 2020, 8:05 PM PDT
Santa Anita reopened for racing Friday after it was shut down for competition for almost two months because of the COVID-19 pandemic. <span class="copyright">(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)</span>
Santa Anita reopened for racing Friday after it was shut down for competition for almost two months because of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

Santa Anita reopened Friday after almost two months, and based on the amount of money bet, it seems as if the public was more than waiting for this. The track pulled in a 184% increase from the last Friday the track ran  before being shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The nine-race card pulled in $11,207,076 in wagering compared with $3,944,391 on March 20. The track was shut down March 27  . While an impressive weekday number, it is short of the $19.02 million on opening day or the $17.48 million on March 7 the day of the San Felipe and Santa Anita Handicap.

The atmosphere at Santa Anita was quite different than what fans had grown accustomed to for almost 80 years. There were no fans and only essential track personnel, numbering fewer than 100, were allowed to be at the racing portion of the 320-acre property.

Not included in the count of essential personnel, but at the track and mostly isolated, were the 55 trainers who ran 90 horses and the 21 jockeys who rode them. Among the small group of essential workers were gate starters, outriders in case a horse got loose, pony riders who lead the horses to the track, ambulance drivers, track veterinarians and bugler Jay Cohen and race caller Frank Mirahmadi.

Those in close proximity to others, including jockeys, were wearing masks.

Jockeys found a different environment in that they were tested for both antibodies and an active swab test before the first racing day Friday. They also have to live in a trailer, the same used on television and movie sets, until the racing week ends Sunday when they can go home. When they return next Friday, the swab test will be administered again.

Essential workers are also sent to a health tent daily before they can enter the track. Their temperature is taken and a series of questions have to be answered.

 

In addition to the trailers on the frontside of the track, the back parking lot is filled with cars, but not from those attending races. Major venues are the new home to rental cars, unused because of the drop in business.

Winning a race was also not the same, as the winner's circle was closed and a quick picture near the finish line was all that owners, barred from the track, had to remember the victory.

The only incident on Friday’s card was in the fourth race when Pammi Dearest took a bad step in deep stretch and unseated rider Jorge Velez. Both rider and horse were not injured.

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ARCADIA, Calif. — Honor A. P. won the $400,000 Santa Anita Derby by 2 3/4 lengths to enter the Kentucky Derby conversation.

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