09/29/2016 11:50AM

Santa Anita installs surveillance system with more than 1,000 cameras


ARCADIA, Calif. – Step into the Santa Anita stable area, and you will be watched.

The track announced on Thursday that it recently installed a security system with more than 1,000 cameras that will follow activity throughout the stables. The cameras have been installed in high-profile areas such as roads but also around stables and in individual shed rows to follow activity in each stable.

The system was put in place in September and is active around the clock, according to a statement released Thursday. The track opened its 23-day autumn meeting on Friday. The Breeders’ Cup championship races will be held at Santa Anita on Nov. 4-5.

In a statement, chairman Keith Brackpool said the surveillance system is designed to enhance integrity.

“This is a proactive investment on our part to ensure the continued safety of almost 2,000 horses living in our stable area while maintaining the highest standards of transparency,” he said.

Track vice president Joe Morris told the California Horse Racing Board on Sept. 22 that the system will capture images that can be kept for 30 days on digital recorders. The system is designed to enhance security for stables and individual horses and to enhance overall surveillance, he said.

“It starts at the entrances,” Morris said. “We can capture license plates. We can zoom in. We will have complete surveillance. It’s a first in the country.”

In the past, individual stables have installed surveillance systems to record activity around barns, often ones involving famous horses.