June 12 (UPI) -- California Gov. Gavin Newsom called for Santa Anita Park to be shut down until it can determine why more than two dozen horses have died competing there this race season.
Newsom said in a press release Tuesday that he was calling on state officials to end horse racing at the track until there are assurances the facility is safe.
"I continue to be troubled by the horse deaths at Santa Anita Park," he said. "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."
He said with the 2019 Breeder's Cup set for November, the state must show the racing world it "puts safety first."
Gavin's announcement comes days after the Stronach Group, which owns Santa Anita Park, rejected the California Horse Racing Board's recommendation to suspend racing, Thoroughbred Daily News reported.
"After extensive consultation among all partners, Santa Anita Park will stay open," it said in a statement.
The board's request was prompted by the death of Formal Dude, who was euthanized following Saturday's race.
Then on Sunday, the racetrack suffered its 29th death when 3-year-old Truffalino died of a heart attack.
Following the two deaths, PETA urged the Stronach Group Sunday to suspend racing as the California board had requested.
"Either the rules aren't strong enough or the rules aren't being followed, but whatever the reason for the deaths of two more horses, Santa Anita needs to listen to the California Horse Racing Board and shut down," it said in a statement. "It should not reopen until full-leg scan equipment is in place, since most pelvis injuries also show lesions in the legs; the dirt track has been replaced with a safer synthetic surface; and the district attorney's investigation into trainers and veterinarians is complete."