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Oct 01, 2010

Santa Anita to replace synthetic surface

By: SPORTS NETWORK


Arcadia, CA (Sports Network) - Santa Anita Park will shortly replace its synthetic racing surface with a dirt track for the 2010-11 season. Officials made the announcement Thursday that construction will begin on Monday, October 11.

"Our Chairman, Frank Stronach, has made it abundantly clear that Santa Anita will install a state of the art, all natural dirt surface, that our best customers feel most comfortable with and that a majority of our owners, jockeys and horsemen feel more comfortable competing on," said Santa Anita President George Haines.

The California Horse Racing Board mandates that major thoroughbred tracks, such as Santa Anita, can only be licensed if they provide a synthetic racing surface. Santa Anita is seeking a waiver from the board for the installation of the dirt surface.

"This has been quite a process, one of great expense," Haines continued. "We want to sincerely thank the City of Arcadia for expediting our requests for permits, which are needed in order to embark upon a project of this nature.

"Our project manager, Ted Malloy, met with horsemen here on Tuesday and we are close to a consensus as to what the composition of the soil is going to be. Ted has overseen the installation of tracks in several different locations around the country and he is a big asset for us on this project."

Santa Anita was experiencing problems with its synthetic track this year which forced Oak Tree Racing to move its 2010 fall meet to Hollywood Park. Santa Anita will open its winter meet in December.

"We are going to be using the best soils available and we are very confident they are going to meet our needs," said Haines. "It's imperative that we get the right materials and the right mix of materials, as we anticipate having approximately 2,000 horses a day training over this surface, in addition to running eight to 10 races a day. It should be a great track to run on."



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