Santa Anita Moves San Luis Rey to March 25

Expected heavy rain prompts officials to postpone marathon turf race for one week.

Due to a forecast calling for heavy rain over the weekend of March 17-18, Santa Anita racing officials have made the decision to postpone the $150,000 San Luis Rey Stakes (gr. IIT) on turf until March 25.

The 1 1/2-mile San Luis Rey Stakes, to be contested for the 61st time this year, was originally scheduled to be run March 18. 

“We’ve got some significant rain coming our way over the weekend,” said Rick Hammerle, Santa Anita's vice president of racing. “The heaviest rain is expected on Saturday and if we get what is called for, the turf course is likely to be very soft and wet on Sunday. If that’s the case, the race in all likelihood, would have to be transferred to the main track, which would probably be listed as muddy or wet fast.

“After consulting with the horsemen and the TOC (Thoroughbred Owners of California) we decided it would be in everyone’s best interest to postpone the race by one week. The San Luis Rey is an important steppingstone to the Grade II San Juan Capistrano Handicap on closing day (April 22) and it’s important that the horses get a fair surface on which to prep.”