In the wake of the deaths of dozens of racehorses at Santa Anita Park, a new law aims to provide greater authority to the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB).

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed SB 469 into law, giving the CHRB authority to immediately suspend racing licenses when the safety of a horse or rider is at risk.

Introduced by Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, the new law allows the CHRB “to apply new safety measures and create a review group at Santa Anita Park to provide additional examination and determine if an individual horse is at elevated risk of injury before racing,” according to a statement from the office of the governor.

The bill comes hot on the heels of Newsome’s scrutiny of Santa Anita for the death of 30 horses at the park this season.

“Business as usual has resulted in too many horse deaths,” Newsom says.

Since the board was created, 38 horses have been scratched or denied racing at Santa Anita. While the board is working to keep horses safe, the legislation is designed to further the board’s ability to do so.

“Putting the safety of horses first is paramount,” Dodd says. “I appreciate Gov. Newsom’s partnership and swift action in supporting this commonsense measure to allow the Horse Racing Board to halt racing when dangerous conditions exist.”