A trainer was banned from Santa Anita Park , Los Angeles after the fourth horse died, marking the 30th death of a race horse at the track since December.
The horse American Currency was injured while exercising Saturday morning and then euthanized, the California Horse Racing Board said. It was the fourth horse death connected to trainer Jerry Hollendorfer this season, the board said.
Santa Anita’s Canadian owner, The Stronach Group, responded by banning him. Hollendorfer “is no longer welcome to stable, race or train his horses at any of our facilities,” The Stronach Group said in a statement.
The trainer, who was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 2011, did not respond to a request for comment.
Gov. Gavin Newsom last week ordered a state panel that includes veterinarians to evaluate horses for risk of injury before they race at Santa Anita. The panel rejected 38 horses that were scheduled to run in the final six days of racing, the board said Saturday in a statement.
American Currency was not reviewed by the panel because he was not slated to race, the board said.
Santa Anita suspended racing for nearly a month this season to look into the deaths but a reason was never found.
The Stronach Group rebuffed a request this month by the California Horse Racing Board to shut down for the remainder of the season. Both Newsom and U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein called on racing to be suspended until regulators could determine what was causing the catastrophic horse injuries.
Sunday is the final day of racing this season at Santa Anita in Arcadia, California.
Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer was banned by the ownership of Santa Anita on Saturday after a fourth horse from his stable died — and the 30th overall — at the Southern California track.
The Stronach Group, which owns the track, said in a statement that effective immediately Hollendorfer “is no longer welcome to stable, race or train his horses at any of our facilities.”
On the recommendation of a special panel convened to review horses’ medical, training and racing history, the track’s stewards scratched four horses trained by Hollendorfer that were entered to run Saturday and Sunday.
A 4-year-old gelding trained by Hollendorfer was injured Saturday while exercising on the training track and was euthanized. It was the first death of the meet on the training track, which isn’t used for racing.
It was the 30th death since the racing season began Dec. 26. The track closes for the season Sunday.
The high number of fatalities have led officials at Santa Anita and the California Horse Racing Board to initiate several measures to address horse and rider safety. The spate of deaths has drawn national political attention, including from Gov. Gavin Newsom and U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, who has called for racing to stop while training and racing conditions are inspected.