Santa Anita Derby Highlights Big Day at Track, Where Horse Deaths Dominate Talk

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Saturday is the biggest day of the year for the 85-year-old Santa Anita track, not just in terms of the racing, but also its survival.

Talk would normally be about who will emerge from the Santa Anita Derby to join the favorites for the Kentucky Derby. Four of the last five winners have been stabled in Southern California and two were victorious there after winning the Santa Anita Derby.

The talk will remain steadfast on the 23 horse fatalities since Dec. 26. There were six deaths between Jan. 18-25, and six more between Feb. 17-25. As the public pressure to shut down Santa Anita’s race meet has grown, the fatality rate has dropped.

There has been one fatality in the last 22 days of training and five days of racing. Arms Runner was euthanized after injuring its right front leg on Sunday during a 6 ½ furlong turf race down the hill. Santa Anita has taken all races this week off the unique hillside course, which has an 80-foot dirt crossover entering the stretch.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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