CYPRESS (CBSLA) – The Los Alamitos Race Track in Cypress has been forced to cancel several days of racing due to a shortage of entries in the wake of the fallout from the dozens of horse racing deaths this past season at Santa Anita.
On Saturday, Los Alamitos announced that there would be no daytime racing on Thursday, July 11, but racing would resume on July 12. Los Alamitos is currently in the midst of its three-week Summer Thoroughbred Meet.
“Due to a shortage of entries, there’ll be no daytime Thoroughbred racing Thursday, July 11,” the track wrote in a tweet. “Daytime simulcasts will be offered. Racing resumes on Friday, July 12”
Los Alamitos canceled its first Thursday and Friday races before its season started June 29, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The track’s Thoroughbred Meet runs through July 14.
A shortage of entries also caused Santa Anita to run only three days a week the last half of its troubled season and Del Mar racetrack in San Diego County has races scheduled for only Wednesday through Sunday, the Times said.
Thirty horses died while racing or training at Santa Anita since their racing season began on Dec. 26. This is in addition to 36 horses which CBS2 learned died at the track during the 2018 season.
This led to growing outrage from animal rights advocates and politicians as to why horse racing has been allowed to continue at the park.
In response to the outrage, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a Senate Bill last month which gives the California Horse Racing Board the authority to immediately suspend a track’s horse racing license. Prior to that bill, the CHRB could only recommend that a track cancel races.
Racing at Santa Anita was temporarily suspended in February – following the 19th horse death — and again for most of March – following the 21st horse death — so experts could conduct testing on the park’s three tracks – the main, training and turf tracks — to try and pinpoint the issue. None of the horse deaths have occurred on the training track.
In mid-March, Santa Anita officials announced a series of new measures to help bolster the safety of horses at the track, including restrictions on certain medications, requiring trainers to get permission in advance before putting a horse through a workout and investing in diagnostic equipment to aid in the early detection of pre-existing conditions.
Also in April, Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey announced the creation of a task force to investigate the deaths.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)