Santa Anita to Resume Races March 29 After 22 Horse Deaths Since Dec. 26

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 17, 2019

FILE - This March 7, 2019, file photo, shows the empty home stretch at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif. A filly broke both front legs at the end of a workout on the main dirt track at Santa Anita and has been euthanized, becoming the 22nd horse to suffer catastrophic injuries since Dec. 26. Trainer and owner David Bernstein says the 3-year-old filly named Princess Lili B broke down just past the finish line on Thursday morning, March 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)
Damian Dovarganes/Associated Press

Santa Anita Park will resume racing March 29 after striking an agreement with the Thoroughbred Owners of California to create new rules regarding horse medication, according to the Associated Press (via ESPN.com).

Earlier in the week, the owners of Santa Anita announced the track was banning all race-day medications after a 22nd horse died at the venue dating back to Dec. 26.

The Los Angeles Times' John Cherwa reported the terms of the agreement weren't finalized in time to go before the California Horse Racing Board during the board's meeting Thursday. That pushed back the date when Santa Anita could reopen for racing back a week.

Cherwa also provided the most notable alterations in the track's medication policy:

"Initially, all race-day Lasix was to be prohibited, under a proposal by the Stronach Group, which owns and runs Santa Anita. But the compromise position is that it will be applied only to 2018 foals, or horses that won’t race until next year. Horses currently on Lasix will be allowed to continue to receive the medication on race day but in a maximum dosage of 5cc, instead of the 10cc currently allowed."

Santa Anita allowed limited training this week, which is when Princess Lili, a three-year-old filly, broke two ankles and was euthanized.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office confirmed it was working with the California Horse Racing Board to investigate why such a high number of horses died recently at Santa Anita.

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