Santa Anita Park announced July 12 that long-time track superintendent Steve Wood will leave his position at the Arcadia, Calif., track affective July 15 in order to devote more time to his other industry obligations.
Wood, who has been at Santa Anita since 1989, holds a similar position at the soon-to-open Del Mar meet, as well as at Fairplex Park and the California Fair Circuit. He is also a consultant on racing surfaces in Saudi Arabia, Australia, and Hong Kong.
“Steve and I have discussed this in great detail,” said Santa Anita president Ron Charles. “We both believed that his obligations to the care and maintenance of the new Polytrack surface at the upcoming Del Mar meet created a severe timing conflict with the installation of Cushion Track this summer at Santa Anita.”
Wood agreed that given this new set of circumstances, it would not be possible to be the full-time primary track superintendent at Santa Anita during the installation and still balance his other commitments.
“I have truly enjoyed these years working at Santa Anita,” Wood said. “It is absolutely one of the finest tracks in the country and I wish them all the best with the new surface.
Preparation for the installation of Santa Anita’s new Cushion Track surface began July 5. Although no replacement has been named for Wood, the project is currently being supervised by Magna track consultant Ted Malloy and plant manager Steve Guise.
Target date for completion is the first week in September. The Oak Tree Racing Association will open their 39th race meeting at Santa Anita Sept. 26.