Trainer banned at Santa Anita Park after 30th horse dies

The horse American Currency was injured while exercising Saturday and then euthanized, the 4th horse death under trainer Jerry Hollendorfer this season.
Image: FILES-US-ANIMAL-RACING-SANTAANITA-HORSE-DEATH
In this photo taken last month, horses race at Santa Anita Park as controversy continues over the high number of horse deaths at the track in Arcadia, California. MARK RALSTON / AFP - Getty Images

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By Dennis Romero

A Hall of Fame trainer was banned from Santa Anita Park near Los Angeles after the fourth horse from his stable died, marking the 30th death of a race horse at the famed track since December, state officials said Saturday.

The horse American Currency was injured while exercising Saturday morning and then euthanized, the California Horse Racing Board said. It was the fourth horse death connected to trainer Jerry Hollendorfer this season, the board said.

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Santa Anita's Canadian owner, The Stronach Group, responded by banning him. Hollendorfer "is no longer welcome to stable, race or train his horses at any of our facilities," The Stronach Group said in a statement.

The trainer, who was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 2011, did not respond to a request for comment.

Gov. Gavin Newsom last week ordered a state panel that includes veterinarians to evaluate horses for risk of injury before they race at Santa Anita. The panel rejected 38 horses that were scheduled to run in the final six days of racing, the board said Saturday in a statement.

American Currency was not reviewed by the panel because he was not slated to race, the board said.

Santa Anita suspended racing for nearly a month this season to look into the deaths but a reason was never found.

The Stronach Group rebuffed a request this month by the California Horse Racing Board to shut down for the remainder of the season. Both Newsom and U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein called on racing to be suspended until regulators could determine what was causing the catastrophic horse injuries.

Sunday is the final day of racing this season at Santa Anita in Arcadia, California.