Santa Anita Park Completes Safest Year on Record

Santa Anita Park concluded the six-month 2023-24 Winter-Spring season on June 16 which, when combined with the six-week Autumn Meet from 2023, produced a 99.97% safety record, making the 1/ST Racing facility the safest track in North America among those with a comparable volume of racing and training.

Since the Opening Day of the Autumn meet on Sept. 29, 2023, through the Closing Day of the Hollywood Meet on June 17, 2024, 6,678 horses ran in races over Santa Anita’s main track and turf course. The 99.97% safety mark ranks Santa Anita the highest in the world with a similar schedule.

Santa Anita Park’s record is highlighted by a 90% improvement in racing fatalities over the past five years since historic reforms to modernize the sport of Thoroughbred racing were instituted by 1/ST Racing, the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB), and industry stakeholders.

In addition to hosting some of the most prestigious races in the nation, Santa Anita Park is home to one of the largest training facilities in the country, operating year-round with over 375,000 training sessions per year.

“It is impossible to overstate the diligence that the entire racing community has put into prioritizing the safety of the horse above all else,” said Nate Newby, SVP and General Manager of Santa Anita Park. “From the owners, trainers, jockeys, veterinarians and the hardworking men and women who care for the horses each day, everyone has done their part to make safety our North Star.

“Winter is always a challenge with weather, and we have a tremendous Santa Anita Park track crew, led by veteran Dennis Moore, whose tireless efforts and countless long days were vitally important.” Newby continued. “We are grateful to the CHRB for their unwavering leadership in placing the welfare of the horse first, and especially to our horseplayers, who continue to support Santa Anita Park which enable all of us to continue these industry-leading efforts.”

“Santa Anita Park veterinarians performed nearly 6,400 examinations prior to horses working at Santa Anita since Sept. 1 of last year,” said Dionne Benson, Chief Veterinary Officer for 1/ST Racing. “The heightened scrutiny has allowed for additional opportunities for everyone to work for the best interest of the horse. We are pleased that since HISA adopted many of the Santa Anita Park and California protocols in the last year, the overall safety of the sport has improved throughout the country.”

Live racing will return to the Arcadia oval at Santa Anita Park on Friday, Sept. 27 for the Autumn Meet with the inaugural California Crown highlighting opening weekend of a five-week season.

 

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