More than four months after the Lilac fire raced through Bonsall and into the San Luis Rey Training Center, the thoroughbred horses that were evacuated to the Del Mar Fairgrounds are returning home.
By the end of this weekend, all or almost all of the 410 horses that have been stabled and trained at the racetrack facility since the Dec. 7 fire will have been brought back to new, temporary stables or to refurbished older stables that withstood the blaze.
Forty-six thoroughbreds were killed in the fire after many were released from their barns to fend for themselves as the wind-driven flames overwhelmed the facility. In the weeks after the blaze, it was unclear what the fate of the training center and the hundreds of people who worked there might be.
But the facility — owned and operated by the Stronach Group, which includes Santa Anita Park and Golden Gate Fields among its racing holdings — has moved forward in restoring the center’s viability as a training center.
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