JC / Railbird

The Toll

Somewhat overshadowed by the Big ‘Cap controversy is that there were two fatalities at Santa Anita on Saturday, one on the new dirt, one on turf:

According to Dr. Rick Arthur, equine medical director for the California Horse Racing Board, Saturday’s double fatality brought the thoroughbred death totals since the Dec. 26 start of the Santa Anita meeting to 16 — six in racing and six in training on the new dirt track and four on the grass course. Last year, for the entire meeting, and on the synthetic track that brought much anger and whining from horsemen and resulted in owner Frank Stronach replacing it with traditional dirt, there were a total of 17 deaths — six on the main track, five on the training track and six on the grass.

Live racing ends on April 17. With fewer total races carded this year over last, Santa Anita is on track for approximately 26 total fatalities during the meet.

3/9/11 Addendum: More context from Jeff Scott regarding the fatalities on the Santa Anita dirt: “The death of Redemsky brings the total to at least 12, a number that rivals the worst years on the old Santa Anita dirt before the first synthetic surface was installed in 2007.” Where’s the press on this reversion?


I am one of those bettors/fans that turns off the feed when I see a horse break down. I am not playing SA this meet, but if I was, I sense I would have been turning off the feed more often than usual.


Posted by PTP on March 7, 2011 @ 1:52 pm

From day one it was obvious that the S.A. surface was way too fast. Three track records were set by Maiden Allowance and Maiden Claimers, and the fatalities continue at a record pace. Another dubious record in progress is that field size at the meet is at an all time low. So what is management’s answer to these problems? Starting March 23, some genius at Santa Anita wants to switch from racing four days a week to five!!!
Not one dime of my money goes to the poor, highly taxed product California now offers.

Posted by Nancy Taylor on March 8, 2011 @ 11:46 am