Santa Anita Park kicks out trainer after a fourth horse of his dies

Santa Anita Park was opened on December 25, 1934 and is the oldest racetrack in Southern California.

Hall of fame horse trainer Jerry Hollendorfer was banned Saturday from Santa Anita Park hours after one of his thoroughbreds died at the famed track.

American Currency, a 4-year-old gelding, was injured while exercising on the training track, Mike Marten with the California Horse Racing Board said. It was the fourth horse trained by Hollendorfer to die this season.

Hollendorfer was elected to the National Museum of Horse Racing and Hall of Fame in 2011. He has more than 7,600 wins, third all time.

This is the 30th horse death at Santa Anita since this racing season began in December.

Hollendorfer also trained Battle of Midway, who died in February; Psychedelicat, who died in December; and Kochees, who died in May.

The Stronach Group, which owns Santa Anita, has issued a statement saying in part, “We regret that Mr. Hollendorfer’s record in recent months at both Santa Anita and Golden Gate Fields (near Oakland, California) has become increasingly challenging and does not match the level of safety and accountability we demand.

“Effective immediately, Mr. Hollendorfer is no longer welcome to stable, race or train his horses at any of our facilities.”

The action comes the a day after CNN aired an investigation into horse deaths at Santa Anita and other racetracks around the country.

According to horse racing website Equibase, American Currency raced five times earlier this season at Golden Gate Fields before he raced at Santa Anita, once in May. American Currency finished in the money nine times in 13 career races and won three times.

There were 10 races scheduled for Saturday’s program, the next to last day of the season.

Marten said American Currency was not scheduled to race and therefore wasn’t reviewed by a panel that looks at horses entered in the racing program.

Four of Hollendorfer’s horses that were scheduled to race were scratched from Saturday’s and Sunday’s events.

The track is scheduled to host one of horse racing’s big events, the Breeders’ Cup, in November at the end of its autumn season.

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