Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, banished from Santa Anita and Golden Gate Fields, will be allowed to run his horses in New York.
“Mr. Hollendorfer is currently utilizing stall space at Belmont Park and was approved for stalls at Saratoga Race Course for the 2019 summer meet,” said Pat McKenna, the New York Racing Assn.’s director of communications. “NYRA will honor those agreements and he will be permitted to stable and enter horses at both Belmont and Saratoga.”
New York joins Los Alamitos in allowing Hollendorfer to stable, train and run his horses at their tracks. Hollendorfer was banned from all tracks run by the Stronach Group after a fourth horse he trained died during this Santa Anita meeting. Hollendorfer also had two horses die at Golden Gate Fields, both during training.
The big question is if Del Mar will allow Hollendorfer to run at its track when the meet opens on July 17. Joe Harper, chief executive and president of Del Mar, told the Los Angeles Times on Saturday that “we have some time to breathe before we have to figure this out. We also have to see what Jerry wants to do.”
It’s unclear how split the industry will be on Hollendorfer, who has not been cited by the California Horse Racing Board for any of the horse deaths. Hollendorfer could not be reached for comment.
The latest fatality came Saturday when American Currency sustained a life-ending leg injury to his left-front fetlock (ankle) while running over the training track, according to Rick Arthur, chief equine veterinarian for the California Horse Racing Board. It was the 30th death since the winter/spring meet began Dec. 26.
Ed Allred, the chairman and chief executive of Los Alamitos, offered a fiery response to the actions of the Stronach Group in a statement released Saturday.
“Los Alamitos will gladly provide stalls to Jerry Hollendorfer, a Hall of Fame trainer and an unexcelled horseman,” Allred said. “Unless forbidden by the California Horse Racing Board, we intend to permit entries from Hollendorfer. We do not feel he should be a scapegoat for a problem which derives from a number of factors.”
In making its decision, NYRA cited its protocols and a safe racing record as factors.
“The safety protocols in place at NYRA, including veterinary inspection of all horses seeking to compete, extend to all trainers and their assistants and have been effective in improving the safety of racing and training,” McKenna said.
Last year, NYRA tracks had a death rate at 1.20 per 1,000 starts, compared with 2.04 at Santa Anita.
Hollendorfer sent about 20 horses to New York a few weeks ago. He had about 100 horses stabled in California.
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