Del Mar Horse Deaths: Protesters relieved it's finally closing d - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Del Mar Horse Deaths: Protesters relieved it's finally closing day

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Animal rights activists showed up Monday at the Del Mar racetrack as the summer racing season came to an end. 

Protesters said they gathered to stand up for more than 20 horses that died during the summer. 

Former Assemblywoman Lori Saldana, community activist Martha Sullivan and members of animal rights groups urged the California Horse Racing Board to investigate the recent deaths.

California Horse Race Board Executive Director, Rick Baedeker says trainers and owners are drawn to horse racing for the beauty and care of the animal and that it's more than just a gambling industry. 

Del Mar Thoroughbred Club President, Joe Harper, says they're doing everything they can to make the races safe for their horses.

Former Assemblywoman Lori Saldana said in a statement:

The board needs to determine why we're seeing an increase in deaths and injuries before increasing gambling in California to subsidize an activity that is decreasing in popularity.

Community activists will also voice their opposition to Assembly Bill 2863, which would, in part, allocate funds to subsidize horse racing. 

Track officials said not only will they start late next year, but the end of the season will not be extended meaning the whole season will be shorter. 

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