At a meeting Jan. 7 at Santa Anita Park, about 40 trainers met to discuss problems with the track's Pro-Ride synthetic surface.
Several horses were out galloping on the renovated Santa Anita track surface Aug. 31. Training stables are just starting to ship in from Del Mar.
Large piles of material dot Santa Anita's backside parking lot, as work continues on the overhaul of the track's synthetic surface. Repairs to the drainage system are expected to be finished soon, with the next step being the placement of the base grit layer, according to Ian Pearse, founder and president of Pro-Ride Racing Australia.
Replacement of the asphalt base is likely the next step in the ongoing efforts to improve Santa Anita Park's synthetic surface.
A two-day flooding of Santa Anita Park's synthetic surface is one of the final tests management plans before making a decision on the future of the main-track surface. Track president Ron Charles said the surface will be flooded following training hours May 28.
Now that the Santa Anita winter meeting has ended, work can begin in earnest on the choice of main-track surface. Following a comprehensive series of tests on the current main track, a decision is probable sometime in May, Santa Anita president Ron Charles said April 22.
Following an afternoon of inconsistencies in Santa Anita's reconstituted racing surface, the main track appeared to be back in shape the morning of Feb. 14. Trainers went from scratching horses late in the card Feb. 13 because of their concern to commenting that the track was the best it has been so far the next morning.
Following a test of several horses galloping over the backstretch, Santa Anita management has given the go-ahead to return to racing Saturday, Feb. 9. The track has been closed since Sunday, Feb. 3, for a renovation of its Cushion Track surface to fix the drainage problem that has plagued the track.
Santa Anita Park announced Feb. 7 that live racing will be canceled Feb. 8 due to a one-day delay in the last phase of its main track renovation. Racing is scheduled to resume Feb. 9.
Ian Pearse of Pro-Ride Racing Australia stands ready to begin fixing Santa Anita's beleaguered Cushion Track surface as soon as the final race is completed Feb. 3.
- By Tracy Gantz
Santa Anita officials hope that adding more synthetic material with a new binder that traps fine sediment in the Cushion Track will restore the track's ability to drain. The track may lose a couple days while installing the new material, which is being manufactured. Santa Anita officials promise the material will be added at the first opportunity.
Santa Anita officials, considering re-installing a dirt racing surface, have delayed a decision regarding whether to replace its synthetic track, which is plagued by continual drainage problems.
With the recent trend toward installing synthetic surfaces at racetracks and training centers around the country, Skylight Training Center, located near Louisville, Ky., is the first North American facility to install Pro-Ride Racing, a non-wax-based synthetic surface.
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