On March 29, 2019 the Santa Anita stewards scratched all three of trainer William Morey’s entries scheduled to race that day. This lead to widespread speculation and rumors, which were likely escalated by the complications Santa Anita faced following the rash of fatalities suffered at the racetrack.
Om April 16th, 2019 the mystery was revealed. The California Horse Racing Board, (CHRB) filed a complaint alleging William Morey’s assistant trainer administered a substance containing an alkalinizing agent through a syringe. This practice is referred to milk-shaking within the industry. The alkalinizing agent reduces lactic acid and inhibits fatigue. Alkalinizing agents do this by raising the TCO2 levels of horses, which can reduce lactic acid buildup and prevent muscle fatigue. The agent was alleged to have been administered to two horses scheduled to race on March 29th, 2019.
March 29 was the first day of racing at Santa Anita since March 3 when track officials shut down training and racing due to the equine fatalities suffered since the meet’s opening day on Dec. 26.