Iconic Racing Venue Suspends Racing Following Gruesome News

Posted by: Charlie Smith

Some disheartening online horse betting news has hit the wire this week and it has some dreadful implications. On Tuesday it was announced that Santa Anita in Los Angeles has suspended horse racing indefinitely following some tragic deaths. Specifically it was the death of a 4 year old filly this Tuesday that brought the decision into place. All in all it was to be expected since this most recent death marked the 21st fatality at this venue since the 26th of December. This move undoubtedly has large top online sportsbook implications as the venue was slated to host the Breeders’ Cup in November. Let’s break down this decision and the repercussions down below.

Santa Anita Suspends Racing

While this may be disappointing for racebook players, seeing as how several cards have been suspended, it’s clear that some action was needed. After all, the rate of fatal injuries at Santa Anita during the aforementioned stretch is more twice the level for that same period last year. In fact, last year that stretch saw 10 horses meet their death during that period. And the year before that, only 8 horses succumbed to their death. Granted the sport is all together pretty rough on the horses, which ultimately sees a lot of deaths in a season. However, these recent deaths are way too high and it’s clear that something needs to be addressed.

As for the races impacted, there were two this weekend that are of high notoriety. Specifically, the two Grade One events and an important trial for the Kentucky Derby coming in May, have all been cancelled. In the meantime, officials will use this time to access the dirt track by carrying out extensive testing to “confirm the soundness of the track”. At least that’s what Tim Ritvo, Santa Anita’s track chief operating officer, told the media following the suspension this past Wednesday morning.

Battle of Midway, the biggest name to die here, won last year’s Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Churchill Downs this past November. Let’s Light The Way, the most recent death, injured her front right leg while training this past Tuesday morning and was subsequently put down. Her death marked the 9th horse to pass away while exercising on the dirt. Additionally, seven more have suffered fatal injuries while competing here on the dirt and 5 more have been put down after races on its turf track.

What Lies Ahead for Santa Anita?

The fact that the suspension is indefinite is somewhat troublesome because there’s no telling how long the track will be closed for. However, the track did say that they’ve retained Dennis Moore, who served as track superintendent from 2014-2018, to help speed up the process. All in all Moore has been brought on to serve as a consultant and he should help speed up the process. It was Moore who oversaw the latest and most significant the track has seen which came in summer of 2014. With him on board things should be up and running in no time. To this end, legal betting players should expect to be placing action on the Santa Anita track very soon.