SANTA ANITA TO REMAIN CLOSED FOR LIVE RACING THROUGH WEEKEND PER ORDER OF LOS ANGELES COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH DEPARTMENT
Santa Anita Park will remain closed for live racing through this weekend as it abides by the order issued last week from the Los Angeles County Health Department as it relates to essential businesses. At this time, there are no known cases of COVID-19 at Santa Anita Park.
The prestigious Santa Anita Derby and Santa Anita Oaks, which were set to headline the racing program on Saturday, April 4, will be rescheduled for later in the season after racing resumes.
At Santa Anita Park, the health, safety and welfare of every person and every horse in our community remains our top priority. We are continuing to have constructive dialogue with the LA County Health Department and Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger and her staff. In cooperation with our industry stake holders, a proposal was submitted earlier this week which we believe was fully responsive to their requests. We have yet to receive a satisfactory response to that proposal.
Numerous racetracks around the country are continuing to operate. They are running for exactly the same reasons that Santa Anita is trying to communicate to LA County officials — because the consequences of closing down the economic engine that fuels the community makes the risks and potential issues significantly worse when racing is closed and only training allowed.
There are over 1,700 horses stabled at Santa Anita who require daily care provided by more than 750 backstretch team members. Most of these team members live on-site and have been operating under stringent new measures for protection aligned with the best guidance from local and international health and government authorities on COVID-19. The track has been closed to the general public and closed to all but essential personnel since March 12, 2020.
We will continue to work with county health authorities to familiarize them with the protocols already in place and our plans to protect the health and safety of the community who works with the horses and calls Santa Anita home.
We look forward to the return of live racing at Santa Anita as soon as approval is received from local regulators.