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Controversy Over Horse Deaths Looms As Breeders’ Cup Arrives At Santa Anita Park




Race horses run on the final day of the winter/spring horse racing season at Santa Anita Park on June 23, 2019 in Arcadia, California.
Race horses run on the final day of the winter/spring horse racing season at Santa Anita Park on June 23, 2019 in Arcadia, California.
Mario Tama/Getty Images

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A tragic, wild and unusual year in horse racing culminates with the Breeders’ Cup world championships this weekend at Santa Anita, where a string of horse deaths have prompted investigations, outrage from the public -- including Gov. Gavin Newsom -- and animal rights activists demanding the end of racing in California. 

The track is hosting the world championships for a record 10th time Friday and Saturday. A total of 36 horses have died at Santa Anita since December, including two since last Friday.

McKinzie, with a new jockey replacing Hall of Famer Mike Smith, is the 3-1 favorite for the $6 million Breeders' Cup Classic this weekend at troubled Santa Anita.

With files from the Associated Press

Guest:

John Cherwa, special contributor to the Los Angeles Times who’s been covering the story; he tweets@jcherwa