Benoit Photo

Santa Anita to Maintain Four-Day Race Week

Track gets CHRB permission to not add seven Wednesday cards during March and April.

Satisfied with its performance during the 2011-12 meet, Santa Anita Park announced Feb. 22 that it had received permission from the California Horse Racing Board to not add Wednesdays to its current live race schedule during March and April.

The track is currently running four days per week and will maintain its current schedule through the conclusion of the meet April 22. Santa Anita was to expand to five days beginning the week of March 7, meaning it will forego seven days of racing.

In a press release from Santa Anta, track president George Haines noted that field size is up significantly since the meet's opening Dec. 26, from 7.7 horses per race last year to 8.3.

“We’re very pleased with how the meeting is going,” Haines said in the statement. “Our overall handle is currently up 7 percent and our field size has remained strong."

In a letter to CHRB chairman Keith Brackpool, Haines requested that the schedule not be expanded. Santa Anita's proposed racing schedule with the additional Wednesday cards was approved as part of its license application late last year.

“The current racing schedule is working well for all of our stake holders and we want to thank the CHRB and chairman Brackpool for allowing us to continue to run four days a week in order to sustain and build upon the momentum we’ve been able to establish,” Haines said.

The move means that this year's meet will consist of 72 racing days.