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Some Real Dirt

Some Real Dirt

One thing we do know is the synthetic surface installed at Santa Anita has been a mess from the start and has seen more facelifts than Joan Rivers. Read Blog

Cushion Track Lawsuit Dismissal Denied

Cushion Track Lawsuit Dismissal Denied

The federal lawsuit against Cushion Track and affiliates over the former synthetic racing surface at Santa Anita Park is geared to go forward after a judge recently denied most of the defendants' request for dismissal.

Classic Recap: Pass the Torch

Classic Recap: Pass the Torch

America once ruled the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I). But "quoth the raven, 'Nevermore.' " With a synthetic surface introduced for the first time this year, leveling the playing field for the Europeans, Raven's Pass, like Edgar Allen Poe's mysterious bird, came tapping at our chamber door...then busted it down.

Surface Question: Will More Euros Ship?

Surface Question: Will More Euros Ship?

Though champion Curlin may not have handled the synthetic racing surface as well as some of his European rivals did in the $5-million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), Santa Anita Park's Pro-Ride racing surface performed safely during the two-day World Championships Oct. 24-25.

Sixties Icon 'Class' of Marathon Field

Sixties Icon 'Class' of Marathon Field

Sixties Icon, an invader from England, is the 2-1 morning line favorite for the inaugural Breeders' Cup Marathon Oct. 24 at Santa Anita. Six of his eight career victories have been scored at the Marathon's distance of 1 1/2 miles or longer. In 2006, he became a European classic winner, taking the Ladbrokes St. Leger (Eng-I) by 2 1/2 lengths.

IFHA Focuses on Synthetic Surfaces

Contrasting views on the future of synthetic tracks were expressed at the meeting of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities in Paris on Oct. 6, following the Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) meeting at Longchamp.

New SA Surface Gets Positive Reviews

New SA Surface Gets Positive Reviews

Oak Tree's opening day, Sept. 24, brought sweltering temperatures back to Southern California, almost as if by design to test the new Pro-Ride synthetic surface. The surface heated up, but after the day's six races over it (the other three being on turf), reviews were generally optimistic.

Santa Anita Surface Overhaul in Progress

Santa Anita Surface Overhaul in Progress

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.

Test Calls for Flooding of SA Surface

Test Calls for Flooding of SA 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.

Santa Anita's Track Decision Due in May

Santa Anita's Track Decision Due in May

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.

Santa Anita to Replace Surface

Santa Anita to Replace Surface

Experts from all avenues of the racing industry presented statistics and opinions on synthetic surfaces and Santa Anita track president Ron Charles said the track will replace its Cushion Track as a six-hour special meeting called by the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) concluded Feb. 20.

Racing Resumes at Santa Anita

Racing Resumes at Santa Anita

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.

SA Resumes Racing Saturday

SA Resumes Racing Saturday

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.

Q&A With Pro-Ride's Pearse

Q&A With Pro-Ride's Pearse

Ian Pearse of Melbourne, Australia, who is receiving plenty of attention these days as the man expected to fix Santa Anita's troubled Cushion Track synthetic surface, answers questions about synthetic surfaces.

Weather Woes Plague Santa Anita

Weather Woes Plague Santa Anita

Rain that hit Southern California before Santa Anita had a chance to apply new materials to its Cushion Track synthetic surface forced several more days of cancellations. Santa Anita lost Jan. 24, 25, 27, and 28 due to weather, but a 24-hour break allowed the track to host its half of the Sunshine Millions program Jan. 26.

West Coast Millions Races in Doubt

West Coast Millions Races in Doubt

The drainage problems of Santa Anita's Cushion Track coupled with two inches of hail that fell at 5 a.m. Jan. 24 has put the West Coast half of Sunshine Millions in serious doubt, according to track president Ron Charles. Santa Anita had to cancel its Jan. 24 card.

MEC Selects Cushion Track for Santa Anita

After much deliberation, Santa Anita has chosen Cushion Track, the same surface as at Hollywood Park, for its synthetic track, it was announced May 23. The all-weather surface is to be installed this summer in time for the fall Oak Tree Racing Association meeting.

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