Santa Anita canceled racing Feb. 3 when rain again fell on the Southern California area. The synthetic Cushion Track was one day away from undergoing a renovation designed to fix its drainage problem, and management felt it best in the interest of horse and rider safety to cancel the program. It is the eighth program Santa Anita has lost since it opened Dec. 26.
The original schedule was for Ian Pearse of Pro-Ride Racing Australia to begin what is to be a four- to five-day renovation following the races Feb. 3. Pearse will be applying a liquid binder that encapsulates the sand, allowing water to pass through, followed by application of fiber.
At 9 a.m. Feb. 3, the overnight rain was still lightly falling. Should it taper off during the day, management is still hopeful of being able to begin the renovation project in the afternoon. The Feb. 3 card had an early post time of 11 a.m. because of the Super Bowl, which would have given Pearse a jump-start mid-afternoon under the original schedule. The forecast calls for dry weather the rest of the week.
The Feb. 3 card included the San Antonio Handicap (gr. II), featuring the likes of Student Council, Awesome Gem, and Zappa. Racing secretary Rick Hammerle said that the San Antonio has been rescheduled for Feb. 9.