Another horse died Saturday at Santa Anita Park, marking the 30th fatality reported in connection to the track since Dec. 26 and the seventh since May 17. American Currency, a 4-year-old gelding, was euthanized after suffering a life-ending leg injury to his left-front ankle while running on the training track, Rick Arthur, chief equine veterinarian for the California Horse Racing Board, told the Los Angeles Times.
The Stronach Group, which operates the racetrack, announced that it had banned Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer from Santa Anita as a result. American Currency was the fourth horse to die while racing or training in his care.
“Individuals who do not embrace the new rules and safety measures that put horse and rider safety above all else, will have no place at any Stronach Group racetrack," the company said in a statement. "We regret that Mr. Hollendorfer’s record in recent months at both Santa Anita and Golden Gate Fields has become increasingly challenging and does not match the level of safety and accountability we demand. Effective immediately, Mr. Hollendorfer is no longer welcome to stable, race or train his horses at any of our facilities.”
Hollendorfer also lost two horses during the fall-winter meet at Golden Gate Fields, which is Santa Anita's sister track. River of Doubt, a 3-year-old filly, died on Nov. 11 and Defiantly, a 6-year-old gelding, was euthanized on Jan. 6 after breaking down.
Santa Anita's meet ends Sunday.