Santa Anita holds light training on dirt track for first time since 21st horse death

The Clockers' Corner area, the popular morning hangout for owners, trainers, jockeys and fans to watch workouts and grab breakfast at Santa Anita.
(Damian Dovarganes / Associated Press)

Santa Anita’s inner training track held timed workouts Monday as the track eased back in to what it hopes will be a reopening on March 22. There were 133 timed workouts between two and six furlongs. The track also opened its main dirt course for galloping and light training Monday. It has been closed since Tuesday when a 21st horse died since Dec. 26.

All seemed to go well on the training track, which has had no deaths this entire meeting. Seven horses have died during racing on the dirt track, five during racing on the turf track and nine on the main dirt course during training.

“Everything went well this morning,” Dennis Moore, the former track superintendent who was brought in as a consultant in the wake of these deaths, said in a news release from Santa Anita. “The main track is good. All of the test data support what we experienced this morning and that is where it should be.”

It’s hoped that the main dirt track will be open for workouts in the next few days and certainly by the end of the week.


Santa Anita has paid to ship horses to Los Alamitos and San Luis Rey Downs for workouts. They are also paying shipping costs to Golden Gate Fields.

Among the trainers who had timed workouts on the training track on Monday were Jerry Hollendorfer, Tom Proctor, Leonard Powell, Jorge Periban and Mark Glatt, all of whom have lost a horse since the start of the meeting.

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