Report: Baltas horses are on the move following Santa Anita ban

Report: Baltas horses are on the move following Santa Anita ban
Photo: Benoit

With Richard Baltas unable to enter at Santa Anita, horses in his care have begun moving to other trainers. 

According to Daily Racing Form, six Santa Anita-based trainers confirmed they have taken over the conditioning duties of some of Baltas' runners. They are George Papaprodromou, John Sadler, Mike Puype, Dan Blacker, Phil D'Amato and Ruben Alvarado. DRF reported more trainers are likely to join that group. 

Baltas this week was temporarily barred from entering horses at Santa Anita and its sister tracks, pending an investigation, by track management. The decision followed a troubled weekend for the Baltas barn.

Last Saturday, Baltas-trained Speedcuber suffered a fatal injury near the eighth pole in a one-mile maiden special weight on turf at Santa Anita. Then the following day,  the 4-year-old gelding Noble Reflection was a late scratch in the 10th race at Santa Anita by order of the steward's.

Santa Anita's parent company, 1/ST Racing, as well as the California Horse Racing Board have each launched investigations into Baltas and his stable.

Papaprodromou is slated to receive the majority of Baltas' horses, DRF said. Among the notable stakes horses to be moved are Flavius, who most recently was sixth in the Kilroe Mile (G1) and will go to Blacker. Smuggler's Run, who most recently won the Echo Eddie Stakes for California-breds, goes to Sadler. 

The decision by Santa Anita's parent company 1/ST Racing to bar Baltas from the entry box, at least temporarily, was revealed on Thursday. 

“We are conducting an investigation into matters concerning trainer Richard Baltas,” Aidan Butler, chief operating officer of 1/ST Racing, said in a text message to Horse Racing Nation. “Pending completion of that investigation and any final decision based on the results, horses trained by Mr. Baltas are not permitted to enter races at 1/ST Racing venues nor engage in timed works.”

Baltas has had 164 starters at Santa Anita this meet, the fourth most by a trainer. They have accounted for 24 wins and earnings of just over $1.9 million. 

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