Terms Given for Santa Anita Surface Waiver

A waiver must be granted so Santa Anita can install a dirt track.

The California Horse Racing Board said Sept. 7 it is working with Santa Anita Park management and horsemen on a waiver for the MI Developments-owned racetrack to replace its synthetic surface with dirt.

The CHRB has given Santa Anita “requirements and guidelines for the granting of a waiver,” according to a release. Management has asked the track to appoint a project manager; develop a construction management plan and timeline; and schedule meetings with regulators and horsemen for review of the design and materials.

The waiver, necessary after the CHRB several years ago mandated synthetic surfaces at all major tracks in the state, will be considered Sept. 23. The CHRB said it must be “absolutely sure that the surface we change to is better than what we currently have.”

Santa Anita traditionally hosts the Oak Tree Racing Association meet from late September through early November, but Oak Tree has a deal to race at Hollywood Park this fall. Santa Anita is scheduled reopen for live racing Dec. 26 for the Los Angeles Turf Club meet.