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New-look Santa Anita cashes winning ticket as racing returns

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Posted at 10:00 AM, May 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-23 13:00:24-04

(AP) — Horses are thundering down the stretch again at Santa Anita. There are no fans or owners cheering them on. No photos in the winner’s circle. No bets placed at the track windows.

Still, it’s a win for the sport to be back racing against the backdrop of the San Gabriel Mountains after being idled for 1 1/2 months because of the coronavirus pandemic. New protocols are in place. Face coverings and daily temperature checks are mandatory, and everyone who passes inspection slips on green wristbands. Social distancing is required, too. Says Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert: "We were ... willing to do whatever it took to get it open."