By CBSLA Staff

ARCADIA (CBSLA) — Racing at Santa Anita Park has returned with several modifications in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As of Friday, 1,500 workers were back on the job for the autumn meet in Arcadia.

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The grandstand will remain empty and those cleared to attend will undergo a temperature check and other screening protocols.

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Santa Anita suffered several racing horse deaths in recent years, but the acting director said changes made in California may become the standard nationwide.

“We’re very proud of what we did and how we’ve made great leaps and bounds there, ” said Santa Anita Park Acting Executive Director Aidan Butler. “It’s very well-publicized, all the changes we did. An update from what we did in California and why I think California should be proud is, we’ve now led a national coalition of tracks and racing associations to update their medication reforms. The culmination of that is there is now a federal bill in place to take this across the whole country.”

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Executives don’t expect crowds will be cleared to return until next year at the earliest.