California trainer Dan Blacker has been suspended for 90 days and fined $15,000 for not, on multiple occasions, filing veterinarian inspection reports into the Equitaps database within 72 hours of official works by the horses in his stable.
Blacker's suspension will run from Feb. 26 to May 25, according to a Feb. 11 California Horse Racing Board ruling.
The record-keeping violation was discovered during a fatality investigation involving the unraced 2-year-old filly Animae, whom Blacker trained. The investigation found that Animae did not have a veterinarian exam listed for three of her four official workouts, including the one during which she suffered an ultimately fatal pelvic injury. A further audit by a CHRB investigator revealed that 527 of 789 official works by Blacker's horses performed Jan. 1, 2022, through July 1, 2023, were conducted without veterinarian examinations on file prior to the works, as required by CHRB law.
Blacker was notified about the violations Sept. 28, 2023, and in October published a statement on social media that he took full responsibility for the violations and the consequences.
"Both the necropsy and the recent diagnostics showed no pre-existing injury. This was my first training injury resulting in euthanasia since I started training in 2011," said Blacker's statement. "Subsequently I learned that our long-established procedures, while complying with Santa Anita workout rules, were not always in line with the California Horse Racing Board rule regarding pre-work inspection and reporting. As soon as I was made aware, we immediately began to operate in compliance with the rule."
Blacker said he is in contact with his veterinary team daily and that each horse is jogged every day before it goes to the track.
"Horse welfare is a top priority at my barn, it has been for 11 years since I started training," his statement said. "I have always been an advocate for safety and medication reform."