CYPRESS (CBSLA) – The California Horse Racing Board voted Friday morning to put the Los Alamitos Race Course in Cypress on probation following a rash of horse deaths so far this season.

At a special teleconference meeting, the board placed Los Alamitos on probation for the next 10 days and ordered the track’s staff to come up with an action plan. The board had the option of shutting down racing at the track, but chose not to.

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According to a CHRB spokesperson, at least 19 horses have died while racing or training at Los Alamitos this year. Another 10 died of gastrointestinal issues or other illnesses.

Los Alamitos is the only course in California that never halted racing during the coronavirus pandemic, albeit continuing racing behind closed doors.

The death of horses at Southland race tracks has received intense scrutiny over the past few years, with Santa Anita Park in Arcadia receiving the brunt of the attention.

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At least 50 horses have died while racing or training at Santa Anita since December of 2018, including 15 this season.

Santa Anita halted live racing on March 27 in response to the pandemic, but resumed it May 15, also without spectators.

A state investigation released in March found no evidence that illegal medication or procedures contributed to the deaths of the 23 horses who died at Santa Anita between Dec. 30, 2018, and March 31, 2019.

In June of 2019, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill giving the CHRB the authority to halt racing at Santa Anita if it so chooses.

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