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Wednesday
Jun122019

California governor calls for Santa Anita Park to close for investigation after horse deaths

Martin Chavez/iStock(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) -- California Gov. Gavin Newsom is calling for the shutdown of Santa Anita Park until it can be determined why 29 horses have died since the start of the racing season.

“I continue to be troubled by the horse deaths at Santa Anita Park. Enough is enough. I am calling on the California Horse Racing Board to ensure that no horse races until they are examined by independent veterinarians and found fit to compete," Gov. Newsom said in a statement.

"As Santa Anita prepares to host the 2019 Breeders’ Cup in November, we must show the horse racing world that California puts safety first," the statement continued.

Earlier this week, Santa Anita Park did not heed the California Horse Racing Board's recommendation to suspend racing in the wake of two more horse deaths over the weekend because the reforms that were enacted earlier in the year appeared to be effective, according to a spokesman.

In March, the park announced a series of changes surrounding horse safety, including a "zero tolerance" policy for the use of almost all medication on racing day in the wake of more than two dozen horse deaths since December 2018.

The California Horse Racing Board further voted to limit whips on racing day as well, a rule that will apply to Santa Anita once enacted.

After the reforms took place, the park saw up to seven weeks of "clean racing," Stefan Friedman, spokesman for The Stronach Group, a company that owns the park, told ABC News. In addition, the track has seen 50 percent fewer catastrophic breakdowns during racing and 84 percent fewer catastrophic incidents during training, Friedman said.

There were no horse fatalities between April 1 to May 18, when the death toll remained at 23, Santa Anita said in a statement last month. But after that time, the number of horses dying began to climb once again.

On Sunday, 3-year-old Truffalino collapsed in the final stages of the third race and died of a heart attack, Friedman said. The day before, 4-year-old Formal Dude broke down while nearing the finish line in the 10th race and was euthanized, he said.

A total of 29 horses have died at Santa Anita since the start of the racing season.

The chairman, vice chairman and executive director of the California Horse Racing Board recommended on Saturday that Santa Anita suspend racing for the seven remaining race days of 2019, which lasts until June 23, but continue training during that time period, according to a statement from Mike Marten, the board's public information officer.

"It is our understanding that Santa Anita management, after consultation with certain other industry stakeholders, believes that for a variety of reasons, the future of California racing is best served by continuing to race," the California Horse Racing Board said in a statement over the weekend.

Under current California law, the board does not have the authority to suspend a race meet or remove race dates without the approval of the race track operator or without holding a public meeting with 10 days’ notice, Marten said.

Santa Anita’s decision to stay open was made after an "extensive consultation" among the Stronach Group, the Thoroughbred Owners of California and California Thoroughbred Trainers, according to a joint statement from those organizations.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Jun122019

Scoreboard roundup -- 6/11/19

iStock(NEW YORK) -- Here are the scores from Tuesday's sports events:

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

INTERLEAGUE

NY Yankees 12 NY Mets 5
NY Mets 10 NY Yankees 4
Cleveland 2 Cincinnati 1, 10 Innings
Chi White Sox 7 Washington 5
Houston 10 Milwaukee 8
LA Angels 5 LA Dodgers 3

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Baltimore 4 Toronto 2
Texas 9 Boston 5
Oakland 4 Tampa Bay 3
Minnesota 6 Seattle 5
Kansas City 3 Detroit 2

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Philadelphia 7 Arizona 4
St. Louis 7 Miami 1
Atlanta 7 Pittsburgh 5, 8 Innings
Colorado 10 Chi Cubs 3
San Francisco 6 San Diego 5

WOMEN'S NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
Connecticut 83 Washington 75
Seattle 84 Indiana 82
Chicago 82 Phoenix 75

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Jun112019

Man suspected of shooting Red Sox icon David Ortiz charged with 'attempted homicide,' attorney says

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images(BOSTON) -- A suspect in the shooting of retired Red Sox icon David Ortiz has been charged with "attempted homicide" and "criminal association" in connection to the shooting, according to his attorney.

Eddy Feliz Garcia, who allegedly confessed to playing a role in the shooting, insists that he did not shoot Ortiz, his attorney, Bunel Ramirez Meran, said on Tuesday night. Meran declared that Garcia was innocent.

Garcia apparently tried to flee the nightclub after the shooting, but onlookers immediately stopped and attacked him before he was turned over to police and taken to a hospital for treatment. He was later taken into police custody.

Garcia later reportedly confessed to being involved in the shooting, according to Frank Félix Duran, a spokesman for the Dominican Republic National Police. Duran declined to elaborate on what the suspect told the police, or if he was the man seen in the video pulling the trigger.

Garcia's attorney said that his client is accused of being the motorcycle driver who carried the actual shooter. Meran noted that in the Dominican Republic, there is no legal distinction between being the author or the accomplice to a crime.

Ortiz underwent a second surgery at a Boston hospital for injuries suffered when he was shot in the back Sunday night at a bar in the Dominican Republic in what appeared to be a targeted ambush attack, the former baseball player's wife said in a statement Tuesday.

"David arrived at Massachusetts General Hospital last night and underwent a successful second surgery. He is stable, awake, and resting comfortably this morning in the ICU where he is expected to remain for the next several days," Ortiz's wife, Tiffany Ortiz, said in a statement.

Ortiz, 43, had been airlifted to Boston Monday night on a medical air ambulance chartered by the Red Sox. He first underwent surgery at a hospital in the Dominican Republic, where "Big Papi" was born and raised.

Tiffany Ortiz thanked the Red Sox owner, John Henry, and his wife, Linda, and the team's management for rallying around her husband. She also expressed appreciation to Dr. Larry Ronan and his staff at Massachusetts General for caring for Ortiz.

"Lastly, I want to thank everyone for the outpouring of support and love that we have received during this incredible difficult time," her statement reads. "We ask for privacy as David works towards recovery."

Ortiz took his first steps since the shooting on Tuesday, Leo Lopez, his close friend and aide, told ABC News.

Shortly after he was shot, Ortiz was taken to Abel Gonzalez Center for Advanced Medicine in Santo Domingo, where he underwent his first surgery. Ortiz's father told reporters the bullet entered his son's back and exited through his abdomen.

Dr. Abel Gonzalez, who performed the surgery, said part of Ortiz's intestines and liver were removed.

The shooting unfolded Sunday night at the Dial Bar and Lounge, a nightclub in Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic.

Security camera footage acquired by ABC News shows the gunman coming up behind Ortiz and opening fire at close range. The footage shows people scattering after gunfire erupted and Ortiz, who had been sitting at the outdoor bar, appear to grab his side and then collapse.

Jhoel López, a TV host in the Dominican Republic, was speaking to Ortiz at the bar when the shooting broke out and was also injured, according to The Associated Press. Lopez suffered non-life threatening injuries when he was struck in the leg, apparently by the same bullet that hit Ortiz.

On Monday night at Boston's Fenway Park, the Red Sox and the team's fans made it clear that their beloved "Big Papi" was in their thoughts and prayers.

Prior to the start of the Red Sox game, a moment of reflection was held for Ortiz, a 10-time All-Star and a member of three Red Sox World Series championship teams. A message reading "We send our love to David Ortiz" was flashed on one of the ballpark's scoreboards.

Fans held up letters spelling out Ortiz's name, and many showed up at the game wearing his No. 34 jersey.

"They talk about superheroes without capes and he's a superhero without a cape," Red Sox manager Alex Cora, a former teammate of Ortiz's in Boston, said during a pregame news conference.

Another one of Ortiz's former Red Sox teammates, Hall of Fame pitcher Pedro Martinez, who also hails from the Dominican Republic, broke down in tears while talking about Ortiz on Monday night during a broadcast on the MLB Network.

"I don't have enough words to describe who David is, what David means to baseball," Martinez said on air. "But I'm so disappointed to know that someone like David, who saved so many lives, can have someone after his life. And I'm sorry. I'm sorry. But it hurts me. It hurts me.

"I just can't take it," Martinez added. "I'm here sitting with you guys and I'm trying to have fun, but my heart is with David, with his family, with everybody that cares about David. Because just one coward out there that wanted to do that to someone that didn't deserve it."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Jun112019

Questions abound after Kevin Durant appears to injure Achilles tendon in comeback game against Raptors

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images(TORONTO) -- With the Golden State Warriors facing possible elimination in Game 5 against the Toronto Raptors, the night began as a perfect comeback for Kevin Durant, the team's star forward.

Before he took the court at the NBA Finals on Monday night, he hadn't played since May 8, after he'd injured his right calf in a Western Conference semifinals game against the Houston Rockets.

But in the second quarter, after scoring 11 points for the Warriors, Durant appeared to injure his right Achilles tendon.

He was helped off the court by teammate Andre Iguodala as well as staff. Even famed Raptors fan and rapper Drake was seen patting Durant on the back as he made his way to the locker room.

"He gave us what he had. He sacrificed his body and we know how it turned out," said teammate Steph Curry after the game.

In the end, the Warriors were able to hold the Raptors off from their first title win in franchise history, 106-105.

But, there are now questions about whether the Warriors, hoping to win their third straight NBA title, might have brought Durant back from his calf injury too soon -- and cost him what could potentially be the entire 2019-2020 season.

Warriors general manager Bob Myers, who got choked up at times during a news conference after the game, said that Durant had gone through four weeks with the medical team.

"He was cleared to play tonight. That was a collaborative decision. I don't believe there's anyone to blame. ... But if you have to, you can blame me. I run our basketball operations department," Myers said.

In a post to his Instagram stories on Monday night, Durant remained optimistic, saying: "I'm hurting deep in the soul right now I can't lie but seeing my brothers get this win was like taking a shot of tequila, I got a new life lol. #dubs."

And in a separate tweet from her own account, Durant's mother told fans on Twitter that "This too shall pass."


The final series has not been without its share of drama.

On Thursday, NBA officials banned a Golden State Warriors minority owner after video showed him shoving a player on the sidelines during the game.

Mark Stevens, a venture capitalist, was sitting courtside during Game 3 of the NBA Finals in Oakland, California, when Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry dove into the sidelines to keep the ball from going out of bounds.

As Lowry struggled to regain his balance, video showed Stevens giving him a shove to the left shoulder. Stevens was fined $500,000 and banned from attending games as well as Warriors team activities activities for a year, the NBA and Warriors teams officials said in a joint statement last Wednesday.

Both teams face off again in Game 6 on Thursday in Oakland, California. It's a game so anticipated, that floor seats are going for more than $100,000.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Jun112019

US Women's National Team routs Thailand in opening World Cup game

Alex Caparros - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The U.S. Women's National Team (USWNT) began their run in the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup with a 13-0 win over Thailand on Tuesday.

They stepped onto the field in France as defending World Cup champions after their 2015 win in Canada, but are joined by many of their international competitors in a crusade for gender equity.

On the field

The U.S.'s first game came on the fifth day of the tournament, after many other nations have already begun competition in the Group Phase of the tournament -- where teams are split into six groups to play round-robin style.

The U.S. is in Group F, which also includes Thailand, Chile and Sweden. The teams with the best records in the Group Phase go on to the Knockout Phase, starting June 22, which is a single-elimination round to find the champion.

After Tuesday’s win over Thailand, the USWNT’s second match will be at 12 p.m. ET, Sunday, June 16, at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris against Chile, who they beat twice in the 2018 CONCACAF Women’s Championship, securing themselves a place at this World Cup.

Off the field

Off the field, the USWNT made headlines in March when players sued the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) -- the sport's governing body -- for gender discrimination, including unequal pay and resources.

The suit named the 28 members of the 2015 World Cup team as plaintiffs, including stars Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe and Carli Lloyd, who are all back to compete in this year's World Cup.

"We feel a responsibility not only to stand up for what we know we deserve as athletes, but also for what we know is right – on behalf of our teammates, future teammates, fellow women athletes, and women all around the world," Rapinoe said in a statement at the time.

Last month, USSF hit back at the lawsuit, denying the allegations in a response. The group said "U.S. Soccer's challenged pay practices are not based on sex" and that pay differences were based on "differences in the aggregate revenue generated by the different teams" as well as other factors, according to their response.

"We look forward to a trial next year after the World Cup," the players said in a statement after the USSF's response was filed.

Household names

In their lawsuit, the players cited that the U.S. Men's National Team players get paid more, even though they are less successful. While the U.S. women are entering this World Cup as defending champions, the U.S. men did not qualify for last year's FIFA World Cup.

The women's team is more successful on the field, and their profile is also growing. The 2015 Women's World Cup final between the U.S. and Japan became the most-watched soccer match in U.S. history, per US Soccer.

In a more cultural show of their growing profile, Morgan scored a cover on this year's Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue, while Rapinoe, Abby Dahlkemper and Crystal Dunn were also photographed in the issue. In doing so, Rapinoe became the first openly gay woman to pose for the Swimsuit issue.

Meanwhile, as the tournament was about to start, several players launched a new company, re-inc, and dropped a T-shirt with it, as reported by The New York Times. USWNT forward Christen Press is the chief executive, former USWNT defender Meghan Klingenberg is president, USWNT forward Tobin Heath is chief innovation officer and Rapinoe is the chief branding officer.

"We are four World Cup champions whose time on the USWNT has taught us how to fight," the re-inc website reads. "For greatness. For our identities. For our own value."

On the field, the players are wearing new kits made by Nike. Nike, in keeping with its ad campaigns around breaking boundaries and pushing for equality, has debuted new ads featuring players like Morgan and Mallory Pugh.

After Sunday's match against Chile, the USWNT compete against Sweden on June 20 at 3 p.m. EST. Each match will be airing on Fox and Telemundo.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Jun112019

Former NFL tight end Kellen Winslow convicted of rape, indecent exposure

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images(SAN DIEGO) -- Kellen Winslow was expected to be a star in the NFL when he was drafted sixth overall in 2004. Long since proven to be an all-time bust, the former tight end was convicted of rape, indecent exposure and lewd conduct in a San Diego courtroom on Monday.

Winslow, the son of NFL Hall of Famer Kellen Winslow Sr., was charged with raping three women and exposing himself to two others. The jury convicted him of raping a woman at his home last year, but deadlocked on the two other rape charges. He was also convicted of indecent exposure and lewd conduct with two women.

He was found not guilty of one count of another lewd act.

Winslow was facing 12 charges in total, with verdicts rendered in four of the 12 cases.

The jury is expected to continue deliberations on the other eight charges, including an alleged rape of a homeless woman last year and of a 17-year-old girl in 2003, on Tuesday.

Defense lawyers argued during the trial that all instances of sex were consensual, and even used a defense that he repeatedly cheated on his wife throughout their marriage.

All five women testified in the case against Winslow, outlining their experiences with Winslow and the allegations they made.

Winslow did not take the stand to defend himself during the nine-day trial.

He was facing life in prison if convicted of all 12 charges.

The University of Miami product was drafted sixth in the 2004 NFL draft by the Cleveland Browns, ahead of future stars like Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, New England Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork and Los Angeles Rams running back Steven Jackson. But Winslow broke his leg on onside kick coverage just two games into his rookie season.

A year later, he tore his ACL while attempting motorcycle stunts in an Ohio parking lot and missed the 2005 season.

Finally healthy, Winslow's best season came in 2007 when he finished with 82 catches for 1,106 yards and five touchdowns. He missed much of 2008 with a staph infection, the second in his tenure with the Browns, and was eventually traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who locked him up to a six-year, $36 million deal.

He also had unsuccessful seasons with the Patriots and New York Jets before his career ended after the 2013-14 season.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Jun112019

Scoreboard roundup -- 6/10/19

iStock(NEW YORK) -- Here are the scores from Monday's sports events:

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

INTERLEAGUE

Washington 12 Chi White Sox 1
LA Angels 5 LA Dodgers 3
NY Mets at NY Yankees 7:05 p.m., postponed

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Texas 4 Boston 3, 11 Innings
Tampa Bay 6 Oakland 2

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Arizona 13 Philadelphia 8
St. Louis 4 Miami 1
Atlanta 13 Pittsburgh 7
Colorado 6 Chi Cubs 5

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION PLAYOFFS
THE NBA FINALS, GAME 5

Golden State 106 Toronto 105 (Toronto leads series 3-2)

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Jun102019

David Ortiz arrives at Boston hospital after getting shot in Dominican Republic

Christian Petersen/Getty Images(SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic) -- Red Sox legend David "Big Papi" Ortiz arrived in Boston on Monday night from a hospital in the Dominican Republic after he was shot in the back at a nightclub by a man who police say confessed to the ambush attack.

The bullet entered Ortiz's back and exited through his abdomen, according to Ortiz's father, Americo Enrique Ortiz, who spoke to reporters outside the hospital in Santo Domingo where his son was being treated. He said his son got out of surgery just after midnight on Monday and was in stable condition.

Sam Kennedy, the Red Sox president and chief executive officer, said Monday afternoon that the team sent a medical air ambulance to pick up Ortiz and jet him back to Boston to be treated at Massachusetts General Hospital. He said he hoped Ortiz would be back in Boston "sometime later tonight."

Ortiz arrived at Massachusetts General Hospital around 9:30 p.m. on Monday.

"David Ortiz is one of the most celebrated and beloved members of the Red Sox family," said Kennedy, adding that the shooting was jarring news to the team, from the front office to the players, coaches and fans.

In the Dominican Republic, Dr. Abel Gonzalez said the shooting left Ortiz, the married father of three children, with significant injuries.

"The wound caused damage to the liver [and] small intestine. We had to remove part of the intestines as well as [part of] the liver," Gonzalez said at a news conference Monday afternoon.

The shooting unfolded Sunday night at the Dial Bar and Lounge, a nightclub in the nation's capital. Security camera footage acquired by ABC News shows a crowded bar with people scattering after shots are fired and Ortiz, sitting at the bar, appear to grab his side and then collapse.

The man who allegedly shot Ortiz was identified by police as 25-year-old Eddy Feliz Garcia.

Garcia reportedly confessed to shooting Ortiz, according to Frank Félix Duran, a spokesman for the Dominican Republic National Police. Duran declined to elaborate on what the suspect told the police.

In a brief statement, police said they do not believe robbery was the motive.

Garcia apparently tried to flee the nightclub after the shooting but onlookers immediately stopped and attacked him before he was turned over to the police and taken to a hospital for treatment. He was treated and released into police custody.

Garcia suffered a head contusion, trauma to his thorax and injuries to his left knee and right leg when the crowd detained him, according to the Dominican Republic National Health Service.

Duran said Garcia appeared to be under the influence when police took him into custody. He said police are awaiting a toxicology report to determine if Garcia was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Duran said Garcia has a criminal record, including minor drug trafficking arrests.

Kennedy, the Red Sox president, said a medical team in Boston has been in communication with physicians treating Ortiz in the Dominican Republic. He said Ortiz's condition is "still serious."

"But he is stable enough to be transported back here to Boston to continue care," Kennedy said.

Dr. Gonzalez said Ortiz was conscious on Monday afternoon and his blood pressure was good.

"Today, his tubes were removed, he opened his eyes and the first thing he asked was to see his family," González said of Ortiz. "He is in good spirits, waiting to travel to Boston this afternoon to see his physician and his wife."

Americo Ortiz also attended the news conference and personally thanked the doctors and staff at the Abel González Center for Advanced Medicine in Santo Domingo who treated his son and likely saved his life.

He said he wanted to make it clear that his son, who was born in Santo Domingo and is one of the most famous baseball players in the country's rich history of the sport, was not being taken back to the U.S. because of lack of service in the Dominican Republic.

"We are very satisfied with the service," said Americo Ortiz, explaining that his son's family and personal doctors are in Boston.

David Ortiz left the hospital by ambulance just after 5 p.m. local time on Monday and was driven to an airport to be placed on the medical ambulance jet.

"Our thoughts are with David Ortiz, who is reportedly hospitalized after being shot in his hometown of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic," MLB tweeted on its official Twitter account.

News of Ortiz being shot reached some Boston officials, including Mayor Marty Walsh, as they were helping to launch a new gun violence prevention effort in the city.

"It's a tough situation. Hopefully, he's OK. He's such a big Boston icon and part of our city, part of our life here in Boston," Mayor Walsh told ABC affiliate WCVB-TV in Boston.

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said she is praying for Ortiz to make a full recovery.

"There's nobody who's a bigger fighter who knows how to step up in a time of crisis than Big Papi," Healey said told WCVB.

Ortiz was part of three Red Sox World Series championship teams -- in 2004, 2007 and 2013. He's credited with helping to break the so-called "Curse of the Bambino," derived from the Red Sox sale of Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees in 1918 and, according to superstition, led to Boston's 86-year championship drought.

Lovingly known as "Big Papi," he was a 10-time All-Star, seven-time Silver Slugger winner and finished in the top 5 in MVP voting five times. He was also the World Series MVP in 2013.

Hall of Fame pitcher Pedro Martinez, a legend in the Dominican Republic in his own right, and a former teammate with Ortiz on the 2004 champion Red Sox team, tweeted, "I'm at peace knowing you out of danger, you a strong man Compai, can't wait to hear your voice."

Ortiz retired from baseball in 2016. He hit .315 and led the American League in doubles and runs batted in during his final season, but held fast in his decision to walk away from the game as he had announced months earlier.

He finished his career with 541 career home runs, 17th all-time, and was eighth all-time in extra-base hits (1,192) and 12th all-time in doubles (632).

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Jun102019

Santa Anita to continue racing because reforms are 'working,' spokesman says

Mario Tama/Getty Images)(LOS ANGELES) -- Santa Anita Park will not heed the California Horse Racing Board's recommendation to suspend racing in the wake of two more horse deaths over the weekend because the reforms that were enacted earlier in the year appear to be effective, according to a spokesman.

In March, the park announced a series of changes surrounding horse safety, including a "zero tolerance" policy for the use of medication on racing day in the wake of more than two dozen horse deaths since December 2018.

The California Horse Racing Board further voted to limit whips on racing day as well, a rule that applies to Santa Anita.

After the reforms took place, the park saw up to seven weeks of "clean racing," Stefan Friedman, spokesman for The Stronach Group, a company that owns the park, told ABC News. In addition, the track has seen 50% fewer catastrophic breakdowns during racing and 84% fewer catastrophic incidents during training, Friedman said.

There were no horse fatalities between April 1 to May 18, when the death toll remained at 23, Santa Anita said in a statement last month. But after that time, the number of horses dying began to climb once again.

On Sunday, 3-year-old Truffalino collapsed in the final stages of the third race and died of a heart attack, Friedman said. The day before, 4-year-old Formal Dude broke down while nearing the finish line in the 10th race and was euthanized, he said.

A total of 29 horses have died at Santa Anita since the start of the racing season.

The chairman, vice chairman and executive director of the California Horse Racing Board recommended on Saturday that Santa Anita suspend racing for the seven remaining race days of 2019, which lasts until June 23, but continue training during that time period, according to a statement from Mike Marten, the board's public information officer.

"It is our understanding that Santa Anita management, after consultation with certain other industry stakeholders, believes that for a variety of reasons, the future of California racing is best served by continuing to race," the California Horse Racing Board said in a statement over the weekend.

Under current California law, the board does not have the authority to suspend a race meet or remove race dates without the approval of the race track operator or without holding a public meeting with 10 days’ notice, Marten said.

 Santa Anita’s decision to stay open was made after and "extensive consultation" among the The Stronach Group, the Thoroughbred Owners of California and California Thoroughbred Trainers, according to a joint statement from those organizations.

Friedman described the most recent horse deaths as "really devastating," adding that the decision to continue racing "was not made lightly." The park and the California Horse Racing Board have a "really good relationship," Friedman added.

"The reforms that we instituted are working," Friedman said. "Do we have a lot more work to do? Absolutely. And everyone at this track, whether it’s the Stronach Group or the horsemen or the trainers or the jockeys, are fully on board and committed to the goal of having zero catastrophic breakdowns."

In April, PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo told ABC News that the animal rights advocacy group supported the new rules that Santa Anita put into place, calling them the "first step in what needs to be an overhaul in racing nationwide."

"The reason that we take that perspective is that the broken bones in California are happening all over the country," Guillermo said, referring to horse injuries.

Friedman argued that if Santa Anita were to shut down the track, it would be a "terrible signal to everyone that these reforms were ineffective, and that's just not correct."

"Secondly...to shut down racing and essentially shut down training, you're taking about closing down a facility and the horses," Friedman said. "There's no place for them to go in this juncture in California," he added.

Nearly 2,000 horses live on site and hundreds of Santa Anita employees live and work on site as well, Friedman said.

Guillermo said in a statement Monday that what's happening at Santa Anita is a "microcosm of what's happening in racing nationally: broken bones, death and public outrage."

"Their bodies litter tracks in New York, Kentucky, Florida, Texas and many other states," she said, adding that PETA recently called for tracks nationwide to suspend racing until they can implement "long-needed and significant changes that will help end the cruelty and protect horses."

Santa Anita Park will host the 2019 Breeders' Cup world championships on Nov. 1 and 2.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Jun102019

Durant practices ahead of NBA Finals Game 5

Anthony Causi / ESPN Images(TORONTO) -- The Toronto Raptors are one win away from their first NBA title but the Golden State Warriors are hopeful that one of their star players could return to the court Monday and turn the tide.

Warriors forward Kevin Durant hasn’t played since straining his right calf during the Western Conference semifinals. But on Sunday, he practiced for the first time in a month since suffering the injury.

Ahead of Monday night’s Game 5 in Toronto, Durant is listed as questionable.

Tip off is at 9 p.m. ET. The Raptors lead the NBA Finals 3-1.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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