Santa Anita suffered its 10th horse death since Dec. 26 when Smiling Ali broke down on the main track during training Thursday. There currently is no live racing at the track. Santa Anita had gone 32 days without a fatality, although racing was halted March 27 by orders of the Los Angeles County Health Department because the track was considered a non-essential business. Training has continued six mornings a week, weather permitting.
It was the third death on the main dirt track. Four horses have died racing on the turf course, and there have been three fatalities on the training track. Last year, there had been 23 deaths to this date. Significant reform measures were put in place by the Stronach Group in reaction to a spate of horse deaths last year.
Smiling Ali was an unraced 2-year-old California-bred filly making her first timed workout. She broke down after completing a two-furlong work. She was trained by Jeff Bonde. According to a fatalities report put out by the California Horse Racing Board, Bonde did not have a fatality last year. The filly was owned by Premier Thoroughbreds.