March 10, 2019 / 12:18 AM / 3 months ago

Horse racing: Santa Anita to re-open main track to training on Monday

(Reuters) - Santa Anita will open its one-mile main dirt track to limited training on Monday after it was closed for almost a week following the death of 21 horses over two months, officials at the famed Southern California race track said on Saturday.

FILE PHOTO: Horses race at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California November 3, 2012. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok

Training will be restricted to joggers and gallopers, Santa Anita said in a statement.

All training and racing at the track near Los Angeles had been shut down on Tuesday as experts worked to find the reason for the spate of catastrophic injuries sustained by horses racing or training at the main track.

That included calling off a big day of racing on Saturday when the San Felipe Stakes for three-year-old Kentucky Derby contenders and the Santa Anita Handicap for older horses had been scheduled.

“Over the past four days, we’ve been able to do a great deal in terms of amending the soil and inspecting it,” said California-based trackman Dennis Moore, who heads a group of track maintenance personnel and outside experts investigating Santa Anita’s main track.

“I think the most important thing with this track right now is that we closely monitor compaction levels,” Moore said.

He said all the rains in Southern California this winter had affected conditions at the track.

Santa Anita on Friday reopened to light training on its six-furlong inner exercise track after being inspected.

No deaths have occurred on the exercise track.

Depending on the outcome of future inspections and weather, racing could potentially resume at the track on March 21, Tim Ritvo, chief operating officer of track owner The Sronach Group, told Daily Racing Form on Friday.

Reporting by Gene Cherry in Raleigh, North Carolina, editing by Nick Mulvenney

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