Santa Anita to open main track to workouts on Wednesday

The main track at Santa Anita Park will be open for trainers to work their horses starting Wednesday. It was closed last week following the 21st horse fatality since Dec. 26.
(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)

Santa Anita Park officials have told trainers they can begin working their horses on the main track with timed workouts starting Wednesday, trainer John Sadler confirmed Tuesday morning.

The Arcadia track suspended racing last week and began an inspection of the main dirt surface following the 21st horse fatality since the meet began on Dec. 26.

Critical to opening the track again apparently was receiving clearance from consultant Dennis Moore, who was recently rehired. He had left the track at the end of last year.

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“What I’m betting on and from training here for 30 years is Dennis Moore,” Sadler said. “He’s a great track man and I have 100% confidence in him.”

On Monday, thoroughbreds were allowed to use the training track for workouts.

“We breezed some horses on the training track yesterday and we’ve been notified we can begin working on the big track Wednesday,” Sadler said from a horse sale in Florida.


Twenty-two horses have died at Santa Anita Park since Dec. 26. Experts are trying to figure out why.


Santa Anita has implemented new safety protocols, adding veterinarians and requiring a 24-hour notice before a horse is worked so it can be checked for any potential soundness issues.

The track is tentatively hoping to return to live racing March 22.