Santa Anita Park, which closed July 25 for training for the first time in two years, and which will host the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting beginning Sept. 29, began repair work on its synthetic main track on July 26 and embarked upon significant scheduled maintenance of its stable area as well.
“For the most part, this is regularly scheduled maintenance,” said Santa Anita president George Haines. “Beyond that however, we are working toward mitigating our drainage issues with the main track. The Pro-Ride surface was very safe and it performed beautifully this past meet, except for the fact that we continue to have drainage issues through the (home) stretch and in particular, in the area near the finish line.
“We’re in the process of repairing this area now. We’ve gone down to the base and we’re going to try and address the drainage problem as best we can. Again, the only time we had a problem with the main track this past meet was when we received significant rainfall and during those periods of rain, we were closed. We’re hoping this procedure will enhance the track’s ability to drain.”
Haines also noted that Santa Anita, which opened in 1934, is a facility in continual need of regular maintenance.
“This is the first time in two years that we’ve had an opportunity to get into the stable area and address some of our maintenance issues in a comprehensive way. We’re going to be doing work on some of the stalls and tack rooms, and we’re going to re-grade all of the roads back there, including those that run between shed rows. We’ve been here for 76 years now and with regular maintenance, this plant will continue to be the most beautiful racing facility in America.”
Santa Anita will reopen for training at the conclusion of the Del Mar race meeting on Sept. 8. Following the Oak Tree meet, which ends on Oct. 31, Santa Anita will be open for training in advance of its traditional winter/spring meeting, which begins Dec. 26.
Santa Anita and Oak Tree officially completed a one-year lease agreement for the fall 2010 meet on July 23.