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Santa Anita Bans Top Trainer After Horse Death

Jerry Hollendorfer calls it 'pretty extreme'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 22, 2019 4:30 PM CDT
In this file photo, an exercise rider takes a horse for a workout at Santa Anita Park with palm trees and the San Gabriel Mountains as a backdrop in Arcadia, Calif.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
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(Newser) – Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer has been banned by the ownership of Santa Anita after a fourth horse from his stable has died—and the 30th overall—at the Southern California track, the AP reports. The Stronch Group, which owns the track, says Saturday in a statement that Hollendorfer "is no longer welcome to stable, race or train his horses at any of our facilities." The LA Times further quotes the statement: "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 group says, adding that Hollendorder's recent record "does not match the level of safety and accountability we demand."

On the recommendation of a special panel convened to review horses' medical, training and racing history, the track's stewards scratched four horses trained by Hollendorfer that were to run Saturday and Sunday. A 4-year-old gelding trained by Hollendorfer was injured Saturday while exercising on the training track and was euthanized. It was the 30th death since the racing season began on Dec. 26. "I don’t know why this horse pulled up this morning," Hollendorfer tells Horse Racing Nation. "We're trying to check that out." He also defended his overall record on horse injuries and called the ruling against him "pretty extreme." The track closes for the season Sunday.

(Read more horse racing stories.)

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