Santa Anita postpones Derby and Oaks

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The cancellation of live racing at Santa Anita last Friday by the Los Angeles County Department of Health has led to the postponement of the Santa Anita Derby and Santa Anita Oaks scheduled for Saturday.

According to a press release issued on Tuesday, the Santa Anita Derby and Santa Anita Oaks will be rescheduled for later in the season after racing resumes. 

Even amid silence, the calls keep coming

Vice President of Racing and Racing Secretary Steve Lym told Horseracingnation.com: “We’re just in a holding pattern right now, trying to work with the county to see when we can open. I can’t give a specific timeline, but we’ll be ready with the Stakes races when we get the go-ahead.”

The Thoroughbred Owners of California (TOC), The Stronach Group (owners of Santa Anita), and the California Thoroughbred Trainers are currently working together in an effort to persuade the L.A. County Department of Health to rescind the March 27 directive prohibiting live racing at Santa Anita.

“Allowing the continuation of live racing does not present a health risk to the 1,000 plus workers on the backstretch who live in dormitories at the track and must be at the track every day to support live training of 1,700 horses every day,” the TOC said in a press release on their website. “Daily training for these horses has already been determined to be an essential activity as required animal care and exercise.  “What we are seeking is not extreme or without precedent. All other counties in California where live racing is conducted have accepted these arguments and are allowing live racing to continue under the strict safety precautions that we also have at Santa Anita.”

As part of its continued effort to make conditions as safe as possible, Santa Anita announced it would not permit jockeys or their agents on the track’s backstretch for the foreseeable future in an effort to minimize the number of people at the track during morning training hours. The ban began Monday.

Contenders continue work

Trainer Bob Baffert worked likely Santa Anita Derby favorite Authentic six furlongs in 1:12.40 Sunday morning. Jockey Drayden Van Dyke was aboard and allowed Authentic to sit behind a pair of workers to get dirt in his face before going around and pulling clear late.

Trainer Richard Baltas sent likely Santa Anita Oaks favorite Venetian Harbor out for a solo drill Sunday morning. She completed her half-mile work in a lively 46.80 in what looked more like an open gallop than a work. 

With no possible makeup date announced for the Santa Anita Derby or Oaks, Baffert and Baltas will have to walk a fine line keeping their top prospects sharp while they wait for more information.

Check Out More Horse Racing Here

Baffert has said the May 2 Arkansas Derby is not a likely alternative for Authentic since he already has earned enough qualifying points to assure himself a spot in the Kentucky Derby starting gate. He has horses like Nadal and Charlatan who could end up at Oaklawn, depending on when the Santa Anita Derby is run.

The Fantasy Stakes at Oaklawn has been moved to May 1 and could be a possible alternative for Venetian Harbor.

Lindo Report Play for Gaming Today: Oaklawn Park Thursday, Race 5: Tiz McNamara (No. 10). This wide-open race has plenty of early speed signed on and is begging to be won by a closer. Tiz McNamara prepped in a sprint and now stretches out and drops in class. He appears to be well spotted at a playable number with the morning line at 8-1.

About the Author

Jon Lindo

Jon Lindo is a syndicated handicapper, long-time thoroughbred owner, and publisher of the Lindo Report. Jon is also a regular contributor to Race Day Las Vegas Radio show on KSHP 1400 in Las Vegas and Thoroughbred Los Angeles Radio show, heard in Las Vegas at thoroughbredla.com.

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