S.A. Cancels; Hopeful for Millions

S.A. Cancels; Hopeful for Millions
Photo: Benoit

Santa Anita cancelled its Jan. 25 card because rain again made the Cushion Track too wet to use. However, officials remain hopeful that the track can conduct its Jan. 26 Sunshine Millions card as scheduled.

“We are doing everything we can to run tomorrow,” said Ron Charles, president of Santa Anita, midmorning Jan. 25. “It looks like we might have a window from about 6-7 o’clock tonight to 5 or 6 tomorrow night where we could have some good weather. We’ll be working all night on the track tonight, and right now we anticipate running tomorrow.”

The continuing drainage problems of the Cushion Track, installed last summer, have forced Santa Anita to cancel when rain hits the area. The Arcadia, Calif., track, which opened its winter meeting Dec. 26, lost three days, Jan. 5-7, as well as Jan. 24-25 because of the rain. New material from Pro-Ride Racing of Australia that track officials expect will fix the drainage problem is expected to arrive in the next few days, and work will begin on its installation as soon as weather permits.

Rain began falling in the Los Angeles area Jan. 23, the last morning Santa Anita conducted works on its main track. Hail struck at 5 a.m. the morning of Jan. 24, leading to that day’s cancellation.

Should the Jan. 26 Sunshine Millions card at Santa Anita have to be cancelled, Charles has said that they would reschedule it after talks with horsemen as to what would be best for them. It became impossible due to tote equipment and other logistical difficulties to move the program to Hollywood Park. In addition, Hollywood Park’s turf course is being renovated for its spring season that begins in April and would not be available.

Rain has blanketed the entire Los Angeles basin. Hollywood Park, which also has a Cushion Track surface, reported only 35 works the morning of Jan. 24.

The Gulfstream Park portion of the Sunshine Millions in Florida will proceed as scheduled no matter what the situation in California, Charles said.

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