Mongolian Groom. Sports Illustrated image.

California Prosecutor finds no crime in Santa Anita horse racing deaths

The New York Times reported the following story filed by the Associated Press:

A California prosecutor found no evidence of animal cruelty or other crimes during an investigation into a spike in horse deaths at Santa Anita Park racetrack over the past year, according to a report issued Thursday.

A task force formed by the Los Angeles district attorney looked at a decade’s worth of data and found that 49 horses died at Santa Anita Park during the 12-month period ending in June, fewer than the 71 who perished in 2011-12 but more than the 37 who died in 2010-11.

It also found that the deaths had occurred at a rate higher than the national average, but lower than some years in the past decade and lower than Churchill Downs in Kentucky.

The investigation was one of several actions taken after 23 horse deaths at the California track during the winter-spring season from Dec. 30 to March 31 caused an outcry that included calls to shut down horse racing in the state, regulatory changes and proposed legislation.

There is much more to this story. In the meantime, here is the report.

SANTA ANITA TASK FORCE REPORT OF INVESTIGATION, 19 PP, 3 MB, PDF »

FEATURED IMAGE: Mongolian Groom. Sports Illustrated photo.

Updated Dec 23, 3:43pm, Louisville KY

3 thoughts on “California Prosecutor finds no crime in Santa Anita horse racing deaths”

    1. Exactly. One always has to wonder about money changing hands in cases like this.

      In the meantime, because of the holidays we have not had anyone available to research what they define as a “crime” in terms of horse racing and gambling. That will no doubt clarify things a bit.

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      1. On holidays and haven’t had the time to look further into this report.
        However, the fact that the DA was investigating to find irrefutable evidence of “criminal” acts, then of course the outcome of this investigation would be as it is. And only 17 pages….pfft! That in itself speaks volumes.

        On the other hand, if the DA’s job was to investigate and find irrefutable evidence of negligence in the duty of care to these animals, then the DA’s job would have been easy. And just for starters, Mongolian Groom is irrefutable evidence and much of it is public.

        It will be interesting to see the promised necropsies for public reading and how much of each necropsy report is publicly revealed.

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