Money raised to install equine MRI at Santa Anita

AP Photo

ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) A fundraising campaign to install an equine MRI at Santa Anita has been successful, and it’s expected to be in place during the troubled track’s winter-spring meet that begins on Dec. 26.

Karen Klawitter, CEO of the Southern California Equine Foundation, said Tuesday the machine which allows for horses to be scanned while standing should be fully operational “by early in the upcoming Santa Anita season.”

Funding came from a variety of groups and individuals, including prominent breeder and owner John Harris, veterinarians Vince Baker, Melinda Blue and Ryan Carpenter, Del Mar, Los Alamitos, the California Thoroughbred Trainers and California Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Foundation.

The equine imaging center at Santa Anita already has nuclear scan technology and will add an equine PET scan, with track owner The Stronach Group kicking in $500,000 for it and another $200,000 coming from a private foundation dedicated to research on equine health issues.

There had been a Nov. 15 deadline to raise money for the equine MRI so it could be used this winter.

A total of 37 horses have died in racing and training at Santa Anita since last December, including Mongolian Groom in the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at the track earlier this month.