22nd horse suffers fatal injuries at Santa Anita

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ARCADIA, Calif. – A filly broke both front legs at the end of a workout on the main dirt track at Santa Anita and was euthanized on Thursday, becoming the 22nd horse to suffer catastrophic injuries since Dec. 26.

Trainer and owner David Bernstein said the 3-year-old filly named Princess Lili B broke down just past the finish line after a half-mile workout.

Bernstein told KTLA-TV that Princess Lili B apparently took a step as she changed leads, which led to her breaking her left ankle and then her right ankle. A lead change refers to which set of legs, left or right, leads or advances forward when a horse is galloping.

“She was always very sound and we’ve never had a problem with her,” Bernstein said in the interview. “We didn’t have to train her on any medication. She’s just a lovely filly to be around.”

Bernstein said the filly’s exercise rider didn’t indicate any problem with the dirt surface.

“I think it’s one of those things that happens, sadly enough,” the trainer told KTLA.

Bernstein said he wouldn’t hesitate to train another horse on Santa Anita’s surface again.

“I know they’ve done the best job they can possibly do,” he said. “They’re hired a number of great experts to handle this surface.”

Santa Anita had reopened its main track for limited workouts on Monday, with horses limited to jogging and galloping while the surface was monitored for any irregularities that may have caused the deaths of 22 horses since the winter meet began on Dec. 26.

This week’s workouts were the first conducted under the track’s new training protocols, which include two veterinarians observing each horse going to and from the track.

Santa Anita plans to reopen on Friday

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ARCADIA, Calif. — Anticipating approval by the California Horse Racing Board, Santa Anita plans to reopen for live racing on Friday for the first time since it was shut down following the deaths of 22 horses.

The track on Sunday issued a revised stakes schedule that includes the $600,000 Santa Anita Handicap to be run April 6, the same day as the $1 million Santa Anita Derby.

The CHRB is to meet on Thursday to consider new safety and medication rules that Santa Anita, Golden Gate Fields and the Thoroughbred Owners of California agreed to on March 16.

Racing has been suspended at the track since March 5 after 22 horses suffered fatal injuries since Dec. 26. Limited training is being allowed on the main dirt track while testing of the surface and new rules involving safety and medication have been worked out.

If the CHRB approves and racing resumes, Santa Anita will feature the $200,000 San Luis Rey Stakes on Friday.

The Santa Anita Handicap originally was to be run on March 9.

By My Standards a surprise winner of $1M Louisiana Derby

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NEW ORLEANS — By My Standards passed three horses down the stretch to win the $1 million Louisiana Derby at the Fair Grounds Race course Saturday.

The winner went off at 22-1 in what is one of the major prep races for the Kentucky Derby, and galloped past Todd-Pletcher-trained Spinoff to win by nearly a length.

Trained by W. Bret Calhoun, By My Standards earned 100 points in the Road to the Kentucky Derby, assuring qualification for the Triple Crown opener. Jockey Gabriel Saez steered By My Standards into fourth entering the final turn and finished the 1 1/8-mile race in 1:49.2. He paid $47, $16.60 and $9.40.

With John Velazquez aboard, Spinoff earned 40 points with a second place finish and paid $6.80 and $5.40.

Sueno finished third and paid $6.

War of Will was the morning line favorite at 6-5 and went off at 4-6. But after settling in the middle of the pack, the winner of the previous two Fair Grounds prep races faded and finished ninth in what was the colt’s first loss on a dirt track.