Official approval has been given for racing to resume at Santa Anita in California on Friday.
Racing has been suspended since March 27 due to the coronavirus pandemic, but following revision of Los Angeles County’s Safer at Home guidelines action will recommence behind closed doors and with strict hygiene protocols, including the use of face masks and daily health screening.
Aidan Butler, executive director of California Racing Operations for the Stronach Group said in a statement on the track’s website: “We are very grateful for the open and continuous communication with both the Health Department and Supervisor Kathryn Barger’s office.
“Supervisor Barger in particular, understood the importance of live racing to support thousands of individuals, and that we are able to accomplish it safely under these protocols.
“We also want to thank our stakeholders, including the Thoroughbred Owners of California, the California Thoroughbred Trainers, the Jockeys Guild, our Santa Anita Park team and our fans for their patience during this pandemic.
“This has been a difficult time for all. Now we are focused on getting back to work in a safe and secure manner.”
The Santa Anita Derby is scheduled for June 6 and is due to feature leading Kentucky Derby contender Authentic, one of three unbeaten colts trainer Bob Baffert has at the head of the betting for the Churchill Downs showpiece, which will be run in September this year.