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Four Bay Area residents laid on the track at Golden Gate Fields this week to stop racing and to shut down the facility forever, according to Direct Action Everywhere, an animal advocacy group.

The four were on the track at 1100 Eastshore Highway as of about 12:20 p.m. Thursday, connected by PVC pipes in a move the activists called a sleeping dragon. They lit purple flares as they were lying in place.

Outside the track, people chanted and demonstrated by holding banners.

“It’s not entertainment, they chanted. “It’s violence,” they said of horse racing.

The activists said they were successful at delaying the horse race scheduled for 12:45 p.m. and were hoping to keep horses from running the day’s only other scheduled race at 3:45 p.m.

The four activists on the track were prepared to be arrested, according to DxE, who identified them as Omar Aicardi, Rachel Ziegler, Rocky Chau and Jamie Crom.

At least five horses have died at the track so far this year. Twenty-seven horses died at the track last year. Deaths of horses gained more public attention when 23 died over three months in early 2019 at Santa Anita Park in Southern California.