36 racehorses forced to leave Golden Gate Fields following 30th horse death in Santa Anita

PLEASANTON, Calif. (KGO) -- A 30th horse died at the Santa Anita race track this weekend. The track owner, which also owns Golden Gate Fields in the East Bay, promptly banned legendary trainer Jerry Hollendorfer from both of the tracks.

That means 36 racehorses were moved late Sunday from Golden Gate Fields to Pleasanton's Alameda County Fairgrounds.

RELATED: 30th horse dies at Santa Anita Park since start of racing season in December

The horse racing correspondent for the San Francisco Chronicle, Larry Stumes, said, "The management there has tried to deflect blame in every direction than mismanagement of the racing surface by making Jerry Hollendorfer a scapegoat."

A horse trained by Hollendorfer named American Currency was euthanized over the weekend after a workout on the Santa Anita track. Within hours, the Stronach Group issued a statement saying, "We regret that Mr. Hollendorfer's record in recent months at both Santa Anita and Golden Gate Fields 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."

It was a harsh punishment for the storied trainer who has won over 7,000 races. He lives in Richmond and did not return calls to ABC7 news.

Thirty horses have mysteriously died at Santa Anita since December, four of them trained by Hollendorfer.

Owner-trainer Howie Rubin showed off pictures of "My Thunderbolt", one of his racehorses. He believes something happened between Hollendorfer and track management.

"There's way too many horses in one place having injuries or coming up lame or hurt or dead. So something else is at fault there."

There are many unanswered questions-- did trainers run unfit horses and use excessive medications? Did heavy winter rains affect the track surface?

RELATED: Santa Anita Park, state officials agree to new safety measures to protect horses

Rubin emphasized, "It's all about the horses. It's their health. If they come back from the track bouncing, healthy, happy it was a win."

The California Racing Board confirmed an investigation is underway in conjunction with the Los Angeles DA's office into Santa Anita's horse facilities.
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