Breeders Cup Sides With Santa Anita, Bans Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer from Entering Horses in Racing Championship

Posted on: October 18, 2019, 10:57h. 

Last updated on: October 19, 2019, 07:38h.

The Breeders’ Cup Limited, organizers of the two-day world championship series of horse races to be held in two weeks at Santa Anita Park, announced on Friday that it would honor the California track’s ban of trainer Jerry Hollendorfer.

Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, front left, has been banned by the Breeders Cup from entering horses at the upcoming horse racing championship series to be held at Santa Anita. The move comes four months after the California track banned him after six horses in his stable died at Santa Anita and Golden Gate Fields. (Image: Getty Images)

Hollendorfer, a Hall of Fame trainer, was banned from the southern California track owned by The Stronach Group (TSG) four months ago. That was after six horses from his stable died at Santa Anita and Golden Gate Fields, another TSG property, over a six-month period. The punishment came at a time when Santa Anita fell under heavy scrutiny after 30 horses died at the track during its winter and spring meets.

Breeders’ Cup leads by example in the conduct of Thoroughbred racing at the highest levels of safety and integrity for its athletes,” the Breeders’ Cup statement read. “We have partnered with Santa Anita to implement extensive reforms related to medication practices, testing protocols, veterinary exams, injury management, onsite requirements and racing surface testing in preparation for the 2019 World Championships. Earlier this year, the Stronach Group made the decision to prohibit Jerry Hollendorfer from participating at all TSG-owned tracks, including Santa Anita. As announced by the Chairman of the Board, Fred Hertrich, and consistent with Santa Anita’s position as host of this year’s World Championships, we will honor their house rule and Jerry Hollendorfer will not be permitted to enter horses at this year’s event.”

The organization told it would not answer additional questions about Hollendorfer and his horses.

The Breeders Cup will run Nov. 1-2. In all, 14 races will be held over the two-day period, with $30 million in purses awarded.

Hollendorfer ‘Disappointed’

In an interview with, Hollendorfer’s attorney said the decision by the Breeders’ Cup “disappointed” his client.

“Right now he’s focusing on making certain that his clients and his partners and the horses that may be entered in the Breeders’ Cup are not penalized for the Breeders’ Cup’s decision against him,” Drew Couto said. “So, we’re focused on what we need to do to get those horses entered.”

The likeliest horses affected by the ruling are a pair of 5-year-old mares. Vasilika, who has placed in the money in all seven starts and posted five graded stakes wins this year, would likely be among the favorites in the Grade I Maker’s Mark Filly and Mare Turf.

Danuska’s My Girl, meanwhile, has four wins in six starts this year, with three wins coming in graded stakes, and would likely run in Grade I Filly and Mare Sprint.

Both horses won multiple stakes races at Santa Anita prior to Hollendorfer’s ban taking effect. Neither horse, though, is currently listed as contenders on the Breeders’ Cup website.

Injunction Possible

Hollendorfer has filed suit against the Los Angeles Turf Club, the corporate name for Santa Anita. Couto said a Los Angeles County judge declined to issue a temporary restraining order in the case, but left the door open for a possible preliminary injunction.

Such an injunction would bar the track from prohibiting Hollendorfer from stabling horses at Santa Anita and racing them there until the case was resolved.