Breeders' Cup official: No discussions to move from Santa Anita Park

March 14, 2019 06:44pm
The Breeders' Cup remains on schedule to return to Santa Anita Park for a record 10th time this fall, said Jim Gluckson, spokesman for the championships, in light of recent developments at the Arcadia, Calif., track.

On Thursday morning, a filly broke down at the end of her workout, becoming the 22nd equine fatality due to training or racing since the current meet began Dec. 26. By Thursday afternoon, track operator The Stronach Group published a letter from its president, Belinda Stronach, outlining a "no tolerance" ban on race day medication and use of the whip for anything other than "as a corrective safety measure."

“We’ve not changed our commitment to hold the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Santa Anita Park this fall and have not discussed doing so with our board," Gluckson told Horse Racing Nation. "We’re in close communication with Santa Anita officials and believe they are taking all the necessary steps.”

Gluckson could not further comment beyond the statement, meaning there's no answer as to whether the Breeders' Cup would run Lasix-free races on Nov. 1-2 at Santa Anita.

A separate statement from the Breeders' Cup reads in full: 
“Like all of racing, we are profoundly saddened by the loss of a life at any racetrack and we are heartbroken for those whose livelihoods are dedicated to the care of our horses. As an organization, the Breeders’ Cup stands for the highest levels of safety and integrity. We support the effort by The Stronach Group to propose important changes and we commit to working with the racing industry in California and elsewhere to achieve meaningful reform on a national basis. 


“We recognize that for real change to result from this difficult situation we must engage those stakeholders quickly and dedicate time and other resources. We must, as an industry, press forward on implementing existing best practices and rapidly proceed with the consideration of further reforms such as those proposed by The Stronach Group in California. It is vital that we all do so.” 


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