The Cushion Track at Betfair Hollywood Park will be closed for maintenance at the conclusion of training hours Sept. 14, the Inglewood, Calif. track announced.
The first round of nominations for both the CashCall Futurity (gr. I) and the Hollywood Starlet Stakes (gr. I) are up over last year, according to Martin Panza, Hollywood Park's racing secretary and vice president-racing.
Heavy rain in Southern California forced Hollywood Park to cancel racing Dec. 19 prior to the third race, bringing the final day of the 2010 Autumn meet to an unexpected end.
Multiple stakes winner Lookin at Lucky worked five furlongs on Hollywood Park's Cushion Track in :59 3/5 Oct. 31 in preparation for the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) Nov. 6 at Churchill Downs.
Removal of Santa Anita's synthetic surface began Oct. 11 as the first step in replacing it with a dirt surface. Track officials are close to deciding the mix of materials to be used as the surface material.
Wet spots on the Hollywood Park Cushion Track following a flash rainstorm in the morning forced officials to cancel its Oak Tree racing program Oct. 6.
One thing we do know is the synthetic surface installed at Santa Anita has been a mess from the start and has seen more facelifts than Joan Rivers. Read Blog
Ron Charles, who has served as president of Santa Anita's Los Angeles Turf Club since 2004, has resigned. His last day will be May 19.
Hollywood Park, capitalizing on the first summer break in training since Cushion Track was installed in 2006, is renovating the synthetic surface with training scheduled to resume at the Track of Lakes and Flowers in early September.
Cushion Track has answered speculation it would add third-party defendants to it case with the Los Angeles Turf Club, charging several contracted companies with fault in the development of the former troubled synthetic surface at Santa Anita Park.
Cushion Track and related defendants have filed a counterclaim against the Los Angeles Turf Club and its general counsel in the lawsuit over the troubled former synthetic surface at Santa Anita Park, asking a California federal court to award it at least $1.3 million in damages.
The federal lawsuit against Cushion Track and affiliates over the former synthetic racing surface at Santa Anita Park is geared to go forward after a judge recently denied most of the defendants' request for dismissal.
Cushion Track Footing and affiliated defendants have indicated in a recent court filing that they may countersue certain defendants in the federal lawsuit over Santa Anita Park's original synthetic surface.
Several horses were out galloping on the renovated Santa Anita track surface Aug. 31. Training stables are just starting to ship in from Del Mar.
Defendants in the lawsuit over Santa Anita Park's troubled synthetic surface have filed motions asking a California federal court to dismiss the action against them for various reasons.
Large piles of material dot Santa Anita's backside parking lot, as work continues on the overhaul of the track's synthetic surface. Repairs to the drainage system are expected to be finished soon, with the next step being the placement of the base grit layer, according to Ian Pearse, founder and president of Pro-Ride Racing Australia.
Hoping to revitalize its Cushion Track racing surface following the 60-day spring/summer meet that concludes July 13, Hollywood Park plans to close its main track to training in the next few weeks for a short maintenance break.
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.
The operator of Santa Anita Park has filed a federal lawsuit against the original supplier of its troubled synthetic racing surface, claiming it has suffered at least $8.4 million in damages from improper installation and repair.
Replacement of the asphalt base is likely the next step in the ongoing efforts to improve Santa Anita Park's synthetic surface.
A two-day flooding of Santa Anita Park's synthetic surface is one of the final tests management plans before making a decision on the future of the main-track surface. Track president Ron Charles said the surface will be flooded following training hours May 28.
Behindatthebar wasn't ready for a start in the May 3 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) after winning the April 19 Coolmore Lexington (gr. II). But with two more weeks between races under his girth, the Todd Pletcher trainee could be one of the more legitimate contenders for the May 17 Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
Now that the Santa Anita winter meeting has ended, work can begin in earnest on the choice of main-track surface. Following a comprehensive series of tests on the current main track, a decision is probable sometime in May, Santa Anita president Ron Charles said April 22.
The number of catastrophic injuries on dirt tracks has gone up while the corresponding number on synthetic surfaces has gone down, according to a revision of a report first given at the March 17 Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit.
- By Dan Liebman
You can bet there are those pushing for a return to a dirt surface at Santa Anita
Experts from all avenues of the racing industry presented statistics and opinions on synthetic surfaces and Santa Anita track president Ron Charles said the track will replace its Cushion Track as a six-hour special meeting called by the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) concluded Feb. 20.
Following an afternoon of inconsistencies in Santa Anita's reconstituted racing surface, the main track appeared to be back in shape the morning of Feb. 14. Trainers went from scratching horses late in the card Feb. 13 because of their concern to commenting that the track was the best it has been so far the next morning.
By Bill Casner - "No Good Deed Goes Unpunished" -- No one understands this better than Mr. Richard Shapiro and his fellow California Horse Racing Board members in the wake of the problems with Cushion Track at Santa Anita.
Horses owned by Zayat Stables that were stabled in southern California have been relocated.
With no stakes winner in the field, even-money choice Dawn After Dawn had an easy time of it in winning the $200,000 La Canada Stakes (gr. II) on the front end at Santa Anita Feb. 10.
Following a test of several horses galloping over the backstretch, Santa Anita management has given the go-ahead to return to racing Saturday, Feb. 9. The track has been closed since Sunday, Feb. 3, for a renovation of its Cushion Track surface to fix the drainage problem that has plagued the track.
Santa Anita Park announced Feb. 7 that live racing will be canceled Feb. 8 due to a one-day delay in the last phase of its main track renovation. Racing is scheduled to resume Feb. 9.
Ian Pearse of Melbourne, Australia, who is receiving plenty of attention these days as the man expected to fix Santa Anita's troubled Cushion Track synthetic surface, answers questions about synthetic surfaces.
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.
Ian Pearse of Pro-Ride Racing Australia stands ready to begin fixing Santa Anita's beleaguered Cushion Track surface as soon as the final race is completed Feb. 3.
It used to be so simple. Every step horses took on the Kentucky Derby trail was on good old Mother Earth. Now, we have no idea what some horses are putting their feet into.
By Morton Cathro - Santa Anita's wet-weather woes flooding its synthetic track remind a dwindling number of oldtimers of the rain-soaked, not-so-grand opening a half-century ago of Golden Gate Fields and its clay-like racing surface that doomed the track to temporary oblivion.
Rain that hit Southern California before Santa Anita had a chance to apply new materials to its Cushion Track synthetic surface forced several more days of cancellations. Santa Anita lost Jan. 24, 25, 27, and 28 due to weather, but a 24-hour break allowed the track to host its half of the Sunshine Millions program Jan. 26.
After getting a break in the weather enabling the Sunshine Millions program to go forward Jan. 26, Santa Anita announced it has canceled its live racing programs for the next two days after more rain hit the track overnight.
With sunny skies overhead and another rainstorm not expected until the evening, Santa Anita is going to proceed with its half of the Jan. 26 Sunshine Millions.
The drainage problems of Santa Anita's Cushion Track coupled with two inches of hail that fell at 5 a.m. Jan. 24 has put the West Coast half of Sunshine Millions in serious doubt, according to track president Ron Charles. Santa Anita had to cancel its Jan. 24 card.
Waterford Stable's In Summation again showed his affinity for synthetic surfaces with a game and blazing victory in the $150,000 Palos Verdes Handicap (gr. II) for 4-year-olds and up at Santa Anita Park Jan. 21.
A liquid binder officials believe will save Santa Anita Park's Cushion Track should take about 10 days to acquire and another four to mix with the synthetic racing surface, the California Horse Racing Board was told Jan. 16.
After finishing second for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer in the Dec. 29 La Brea Stakes (gr. I) over the Cushion Track at Santa Anita, 4-year-old Unspoken Word returns to turf and drops down in company to make her seasonal debut in the $100,000 Tuzla Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Santa Anita Jan. 19.
- By Tracy Gantz
Santa Anita officials hope that adding more synthetic material with a new binder that traps fine sediment in the Cushion Track will restore the track's ability to drain. The track may lose a couple days while installing the new material, which is being manufactured. Santa Anita officials promise the material will be added at the first opportunity.
Synthetic material that includes a liquid binder will be added to Santa Anita Park's main surface in an effort to improve drainage, the Southern California racetrack announced Jan. 15.
Midnight Lute worked six furlongs in a bullet 1:10.60 on Santa Anita's Cushion Track Jan. 14 in preparation for the Jan. 21 Palos Verdes Handicap (gr. II).
Jockeys in California are wearing plastic safety visors to protect their faces from harsh kickback as racing at Santa Anita continues despite the track's surface problems.
Jockey Julien Leparoux is shifting his tack to Fair Grounds in New Orleans, La., after spending about six weeks in California, according to the jockey's agent, Steve Bass.
Santa Anita officials, considering re-installing a dirt racing surface, have delayed a decision regarding whether to replace its synthetic track, which is plagued by continual drainage problems.
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