Santa Anita Park has canceled live racing for Thursday, May 15, due to the effects of extremely dry conditions and temperatures that are expected to be more than 30 degrees above normal.
The Arcadia, Calif., track will be open as planned for simulcast wagering on Thursday. Although unseasonably hot temperatures are forecasted throughout Southern California that day, a cooling trend is expected to arrive May 16.
Average temperatures for the month of May in Arcadia are usually in the mid-70s range, but Thursday's projected high is a record-breaking 108 degrees, which presents clear challenges for both human and equine athletes.
"In consultation with all of our stakeholders, the Thoroughbred Owners of California, California Thoroughbred Trainers, and the Jockey's Guild, we feel it is best to cancel Thursday and resume racing as originally scheduled on Friday," said Santa Anita president Tom Ludt in a release. "The good news is that beginning Friday, temperatures are expected to cool and with our twilight first post time on Friday at 3 p.m., we're confident we'll be in good shape, weather-wise.
"The most recent update we have for Saturday projects a high temperature of 84, which should be fantastic. On account of the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) on Saturday (May 17), we'll have a special early first post time of 11:30 a.m., which should work very well for everyone."
The May 18 projected high in Arcadia is 78 degrees.