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Los Alamitos Race Track Could Lose Its License Over Horse Deaths

A race horse attends morning workout at Santa Anita Park on June 15, 2019. Santa Anita closed last year because of horse deaths. Los Alamitos faces similar scrutiny. (David McNew/Getty Images)
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If Los Alamitos race track wants to keep operating, it has 10 days to come up with a plan to reduce horse deaths at the track.

That's according to the California Horse Racing Board, which oversees the sport statewide.

This year, 29 horses have died at the track, 19 while racing or training and 10 from gastrointestinal and other illnesses.

Board Equine Medical Director Dr. Rick Arthur supervises horse necropsy reports and says the track at Los Alamitos alone isn't the problem.

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"What I have reviewed on these cases so far are the same problems we see everywhere in racing. Questionable training and horse management, and questionable veterinary practices."

The race track at Santa Anita Park closed early last year due to concerns over horse deaths. A report in March found many of the horses had pre-existing injuries related to high-intensity training.

The practice of injecting steroids into the joints of horses can mask an existing injury and potentially lead to death.

State horse racing commissioners agreed at an emergency meeting today that Los Alamitos must figure out how to bring horse deaths down at their track.

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If Los Alamitos fails to present a plan to the horse racing board, the track's racing license can be suspended.


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