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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


Text of a letter from California senior Senator Dianne Feinstein to the California Horse Race Board regarding the sudden death of Kentucky Derby first Medina Spirit, addressed to Board Chairman Scott Chaney:

Dear Mr. Chaney, 

As the California Horse Racing Board proceeds with the investigation into the jarring death of Medina Spirit, I urge you to ensure such efforts are thorough, transparent, and independent of any outside influence. Further, I ask that you provide my staff with regular updates on the investigation and any recommended actions necessary to prevent additional fatalities. 

As you well know, Medina Spirit is one of 71 racehorses who have died at California racing facilities thus far in 2021. While this represents a reduction in deaths from prior years, it is apparent that more work is necessary to prevent these tragic fatalities. The continuation of racehorse deaths across the country illustrates why states’ cooperation is especially critical to support the implementation of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act. As you know, this law establishes national, uniform safety standards for horseracing, which will take effect on July 1, 2022. 

I recognize that Governor Newsom and the CHRB have worked to improve the safety of horseracing, and I expect this matter will be treated with the seriousness and professionalism it deserves. As a lifelong horse-enthusiast, I appreciate your prioritizing the welfare of racehorses. Your oversight role in this investigation and beyond is critical to protecting these horses and strengthening the integrity of the sport. Please let me know if I can be helpful. 

Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator

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