Santa Anita Photo

Santa Anita's Main Track to Reopen Sept. 2

Former mixture has been completely replaced with indigenous single-source material.

The newly renovated main track at Santa Anita Park will reopen for training Sept. 2, three weeks before the autumn meet begins.

The one-mile track has been closed to training since July 11 while its original sand and clay mix was replaced by a single-source natural material known as "El Segundo Sand."

A naturally occurring, indigenous soil, El Segundo Sand will help to ensure balanced drainage during periods of wet weather and a uniform, safe cushion year 'round.

New track superintendent Dennis Moore says the indigenous soil will help ensure balanced drainage during wet weather and a uniform, safe cushion year-round.

"It's been my experience that the best surfaces around the country are all comprised of naturally occurring soils that are typically indigenous and not made by man," said Moore, who was hired by Santa Anita this past December following a highly successful tenure at the now-shuttered Hollywood Park. "This entire project has gone even better than any of us had hoped for. We've removed and installed about 21,000 yards of material and we are extremely pleased with its uniformity and with the way it's settled in.

"We expect this new surface will provide the safest and most consistent playing field available for our horses, riders and the betting public. That said, we all know that in this business, there will always be issues from time to time. We're excited to get horses on it and we look forward to opening day Sept. 26."

The 24-day meet begins Sept. 26 and runs through Nov. 2, highlighted by the Breeders' Cup World Championships for an unprecedented third consecutive year. Santa Anita's stable area will reopen to horsemen on Aug. 31.