New 'Cushion Track' Attracts Out-of-Towners

Edited press release

Hollywood Park, which will debut its Cushion Track for racing when its fall meet begins Nov. 1, is expecting some out-of-town trainers to send horses after the Nov. 4 Breeders' Cup World Championships at Churchill Downs.

Dan Eidson, assistant racing secretary at the Southern California racetrack, said Todd Pletcher is expected to send 30 horses, Richard Dutrow and Lisa Lewis 15 each, and Christophe Clement seven. The horses could be on the grounds by Nov. 6.

Martin Panza, vice president of racing at Hollywood Park, said by opening day, there should be about 1,800 horses on the ground, and by Nov. 10, the facility should be at capacity with 1,920.

Hall of Fame trainers Jack Van Berg, Ron McAnally, and Neil Drysdale watched their horses exercise on the synthetic Cushion Track Oct. 24.

"I love it," said the well-traveled Van Berg, 70. "It's easy on your horses. It's got cushion when they land."

McAnally, 74, said he has been impressed by the number of horses and horsemen attracted to the new surface. "There are more moving over from Santa Anita than I've ever seen," he said. "So far, so good. We'll find out more when they start to run. Quite a few seem to like it."

Said Drysdale, 58: "It's consistent, it's safe, and it's very kind to the horses."