The California Horse Racing Board Monday delayed a planned meeting to discuss the possibility of relocating races away from Santa Anita in light of nearly two dozen horse deaths at the facility since December.
The board had been scheduled to meet Friday at Santa Anita to discuss “possible reallocation of race dates granted to the Los Angeles Turf Club at Santa Anita Park Race Track.” The meeting was announced last week shortly after Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, sent a letter to the CHRB urging it to suspend all racing at Santa Anita “until the cause or causes of these deaths can be fully investigated.”
On Monday, however, the board issued a statement saying the Friday meeting had been scrubbed. According to the board, the discussion of Santa Anita racing will be placed on the board’s agenda for April 18, a meeting that will be held at Santa Anita.
No reason was given for the delay.
Racing went off without a hitch at Santa Anita over the weekend, which included Saturday’s running of the Santa Anita Derby, won by trainer Bob Baffert’s 3-year-old colt Roadster.
Moving races away from Santa Anita would require approval from the track’s owners, The Stronach Group. Tim Ritvo, Stronach’s chief operating officer, told Daily Racing Form last week that Santa Anita fully intends to maintain its schedule of racing through the end of the current meet, June 23.
Twenty-three horses have died at Santa Anita since Dec. 26. Racing was suspended at the track for much of March while authorities studied the racing surface for possible causes. Races resumed after the CHRB approved a series of safety measures, including limits on certain types of medications administered to horses.