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Santa Anita racing season begins after 37 horse deaths this year

Posted at 2:32 PM, Dec 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-30 17:43:48-05

Santa Anita Park's latest racing season began Monday in California amid criticism from animal-rights activists about the deaths of 37 horses at the track within the past year.

Officials at the park postponed the track's scheduled opening of its 83rd winter meeting Thursday by two days due to concerns about the rainy weather.

Santa Anita and the sport of horse racing have faced increased pressure from animal-rights activists in connection with the horse deaths.

Protesters are expected to host a funeral and vigil outside the track Saturday for the horses that have died over the past year.

The California horse racing board is set to issue a report next month on the horse deaths.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office concluded on December 19 that there was no criminal wrongdoing connected to the deaths, but offered a series of recommendations aimed at improving safety at racetracks in California.