News Releases

September 2, 2020: District Attorney Jackie Lacey’s Horse Racing Reform Bill Adopted by Legislature, Advances to Governor’s Desk

Pamela J. Johnson, Public Information Officer
(213) 257-2000

Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey today applauded the California Legislature’s passage of a bill she co-sponsored that would increase racehorse safety and ensure all horses are fit to race.

“This bill represents another major step forward in our ongoing efforts to ensure the health and safety of racehorses and their riders in California,” District Attorney Lacey said.

Senate Bill 800 would require a veterinarian to produce an entire medical record to any person directly in the care of a horse that has participated in or will participate in a licensed horse race. Currently, veterinarians are prohibited from disclosing such information.

The bill, authored by Senator Bill Dodd (D-Napa), is awaiting Governor Gavin Newsom’s final approval by September 30.

This is an important follow-up to last year’s Senate Bill 469, also sponsored by District Attorney Lacey and introduced by Senator Dodd, which authorized the California Horse Racing Board to suspend racing at any time when dangerous conditions exist.

Both pieces of legislation were among more than two dozen recommendations contained in District Attorney Lacey’s 17-page report into horse deaths at Santa Anita Park, issued in December 2019.

Those recommendations were made by a task force established by District Attorney Lacey on March 15, 2019, to investigate and review the racing and training fatalities at Santa Anita Park for evidence of animal cruelty and criminal activity.

Click here to view the Santa Anita Task Force report.