Santa Anita Park announced June 23 that its main track will undergo a complete overhaul beginning July 14, and will be reconstituted with a mixture of Pro-Ride synthetic material.
Pro-Ride, an Australian-based company, assisted Santa Anita when its Cushion Track synthetic surface encountered problems last winter. The project will include completely removing the existing asphalt base, adding a new grid base material, and treating the entire track with binder and fiber.
It is anticipated the project will take six weeks, during which time there will be no training at Santa Anita.
“We are very anxious to undertake and complete this project,” Santa Anita president Ron Charles said in a statement. “After consulting extensively with (Magna Entertainment Corp. chairman) Frank Stronach and MEC track consultants, we have all decided this would be the best course of action for Santa Anita to take with the Breeders’ Cup committed to coming here over the next two years. We are firmly convinced the people at Pro-Ride can provide the product our racing demands and just as importantly, we know they will provide the oversight we need to guarantee this surface drains properly, is kind to horse and rider, and that it will produce formful, consistent racing.”
This year's Breeders' Cup World Championships will be the first run on a synthetic surface.
Ian Pearse, managing director of Pro-Ride, will oversee the project, officials said. The Pro-Ride synthetic surface will debut with the beginning of the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meet Sept. 24.