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Santa Anita suffers its 10th horse death since Dec. 26 in training incident

Kadesh, ridden by Abel Cedillo, wins the fourth race March 14 at Santa Anita on a day when the track was closed to fans because of the coronavirus.
Kadesh, ridden by Abel Cedillo, wins the fourth race March 14 at Santa Anita when the track was closed to fans because of the coronavirus. On March 27, racing was halted.
(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

Santa Anita suffered its 10th horse death since Dec. 26 when Smiling Ali died on the main track during training Thursday. Pending a necropsy report, it is believed to be a cardiac event. There currently is no live racing at the track. Santa Anita had gone 32 days without a fatality, although racing was halted March 27 by orders of the Los Angeles County Health Department because the track was considered a non-essential business. Training has continued six mornings a week, weather permitting.

It was the third death on the main dirt track. Four horses have died racing on the turf course, and there have been three fatalities on the training track. Last year, there had been 23 deaths to this date. Significant reform measures were put in place by the Stronach Group in reaction to a spate of horse deaths last year.

Smiling Ali was an unraced 2-year-old California-bred filly making her first timed workout. She died after completing a two-furlong work. She was trained by Jeff Bonde. According to a fatalities report put out by the California Horse Racing Board, Bonde did not have a fatality last year. The filly was owned by Premier Thoroughbreds.

The Preakness Stakes, the second leg in horse racing’s Triple Crown, has been postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak.
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