Santa Anita bans drugs, limits whips after 22nd horse suffers fatal injury

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By Alex Johnson and David K. Li

LOS ANGELES — Santa Anita Park, the famed California thoroughbred racetrack, announced major reforms on Thursday — including banning the use of drugs on race days and sharply limiting jockeys’ use of whips — after a 22nd horse was euthanized following an accident, bringing the number of deaths to 22 since Christmas.

The 3-year-old filly, Princess Lili B, trained by David Bernstein, suffered a catastrophic injury during a workout shortly before 9 a.m. and had to be put down, Santa Anita and state officials said.

In a long statement Thursday, Belinda Stronach, chairman and president of the Stronach Group, said the company would ban the administration of all medications to horses on days they were scheduled to race both at Santa Anita, about 20 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles, and at Golden Gate Fields, a sister track in Berkeley, California.

Stronach said the new rules would make Santa Anita the first major North American track to comply with the drug policies of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities, or IFHA.

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