L.A. County Health Dept suspends horse racing due to COVID-19 outbreak
Santa Anita was forced to temporarily suspend racing by the Los Angeles County Health Department on Friday, less than an hour before its scheduled first race.
The track had been closed to the public since its March 14 program, with only essential personnel allowed on the grounds, and was preparing for an eight-race program Friday and two more days of racing this weekend when it was forced to pull the plug.
“In accordance with instructions received from Los Angeles County Health Department, Santa Anita Park will temporarily close for live racing effective immediately in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” track management said in a statement.
“We apologize for the late notice affecting today’s racing program, but Santa Anita is abiding by the instructions issued this morning by the California Horse Racing Board to operate under the sanction of the local health authorities.
“At Santa Anita Park, the health, safety and welfare of every person and every horse in our community is our top priority. At this time, there are no known cases of COVID-19 at Santa Anita Park. This measure is being taken in response to a mandate from L.A. County officials.”
The Stronach Group’s second track in California, Golden Gate Fields, continued to race Friday. Los Alamitos, which runs a night quarter-horse meet Friday-Sunday with thoroughbred races sprinkled in, also was scheduled to race Friday, albeit with no spectators. Read more »