By Evan Bleier / June 24, 2019

Season Ends at California Race Track After 30 Horse Deaths

A disturbing racing season at Santa Anita has finally come to an end

Horses run on the final day of the season at Santa Anita Park. (Mario Tama/Getty)
Horses run on the final day of the season at Santa Anita Park. (Mario Tama/Getty)

Santa Anita’s racing season has finally been put out of its misery.

The season at the Southern California track ended on Sunday with 10 casaulty-free races, a marked change to the way many races at the track have ended in recent memory as Santa Anita saw 30 deaths this season.

Jerry Hollendorfer, a Hall of Fame trainer, had four of his horses scratched over the weekend by track stewards after a special panel investigated the medical, training and racing history of the 73-year-old’s horses.

Following the panel’s recommendation, members of ownership at Santa Anita said Hollendorfer was “no longer welcome to stable, race, or train his horses at any of our facilities.”

Of the 30 horses that died at Santa Anita during the track’s season, four were trained by Hollendorfer. Despite that, he will “gladly” be provided stalls at Los Alamitos in Orange County when racing opens there starting June 29.

“Unless forbidden by the California Horse Racing Board, we intend to permit entries from Hollendorfer,” track owner Edward Allred said in a statement. “We do not feel he should be a scapegoat for a problem which derives from a number of factors.”

Racing at Santa Anita is set to resume on September 27 and the track is scheduled to host the Breeders’ Cup world championships on November 1 and 2. That could change in the wake of all the deaths this season.

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