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Posted 2019-03-06 07:25:32  
Santa Anita Cancels Racing, no Start Date announced

Santa Anita Park has canceled racing and training indefinitely to evaluate the safety of its main track, according to California Thoroughbred Trainers president Jim Cassidy.

"There's not going to be racing for the weekend," said Cassidy, who in the late afternoon March 5 said he'd already spoken with former Santa Anita track superintendent Dennis Moore. Earlier in the day Tuesday, Santa Anita announced Moore, who left his position as track superintendent in late December, had returned as a consultant and was addressing the state of the main track Tuesday afternoon.

Oscar Performance
The announcement of Moore's new role came hours after Lets Light the Way was fatally injured training on the Santa Anita main track Tuesday morning. The 4-year-old filly was the 21st equine fatality related to racing or training at Santa Anita since its meet opened Dec. 26 and the fourth fatality related to training on the main track since Feb. 23.

BALAN: Lets Light the Way 21st Equine Fatality at Santa Anita

News of Santa Anita's decision to cancel racing was first reported by Steve Andersen of the Daily Racing Form. Andersen cited Tim Ritvo—the chief operating officer of The Stronach Group, which owns Santa Anita—in his report on Santa Anita's decision to cancel racing. Ritvo and other officials at The Stronach Group did not respond to multiple requests for comment from BloodHorse Tuesday. At 10:17 p.m. PT, The Stronach Group issued a press release about the cancellation of racing and training. The press release said The Stronach Group "has been in constant communication with the California Horse Racing Board and numerous key industry stakeholders, who are in full agreement with the decision to suspend racing and training."

"The safety, health, and welfare of the horses and jockeys is our top priority," Ritvo said in the press release. "While we are confident further testing will confirm the soundness of the track, the decision to close is the right thing to do at this time."

A week ago Santa Anita shut down the main track for training Feb. 26-27 and brought in Mick Peterson, the director of Ag Equine Programs at the University of Kentucky and a racetrack surfaces specialist, to analyze and evaluate the main track. Peterson said he did not find any evidence of an issue with the surface during his days of study and Santa Anita reopened the main track for training and racing Feb. 28. The press release from the Stronach Group Tuesday said "additional testing of the track will be (led) by veteran trackman Dennis Moore, expanding on the ground radar testing conducted earlier this week by (Peterson)." - bloodhorse 

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