In accordance with instructions received from the Los Angeles County Health Department, Santa Anita Park will temporarily close for live racing effective immediately in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
We apologize for the late notice affecting Friday’s racing program, but Santa Anita is abiding by the instructions issued this morning by the California Horse Racing Board to operate under the sanction of local health authorities.
At Santa Anita Park, the health, safety and welfare of every person and every horse in our community is our top priority. At this time, there are no known cases of COVID-19 at Santa Anita Park. This measure is being taken in response to a mandate from LA County officials.
At Santa Anita Park, there are over 1,700 horses stabled who require daily care. That care is being provided by the 750 backstretch team members, most who live on-site and have been operating under stringent new measures for protection aligned with the best guidance from local and international health and government authorities on COVID-19. The track has been closed to the general public and closed to all but essential personnel since March 12, 2020.
We will continue to work with authorities to familiarize them with the protocols which have been put in place to protect the health and safety of those who work with the horses and the horses themselves.
We look forward to the return of live racing at Santa Anita as soon as approval is received from local regulators.
Earlier on Friday, the California Horse Racing Board released a statement indicating it would enforce health authorities’ decisions:
In this time of an extraordinary health crisis and pandemic, the California Horse Racing Board is relying on state, county and local health authorities to determine whether horse racing is deemed essential for exemption from shelter-in-place orders issued by those authorities.
The CHRB will assist health authorities in enforcing their decisions. Regardless of the status of racing, the CHRB’s top priority is the health of horses and on-site personnel, and it is the Board’s expectation that industry stakeholders will accommodate the needs of horses and workers during this unprecedented time.