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Oct 15, 2010

Work begins on Santa Anita track replacement


Arcadia, CA (Sports Network) - As announced in September, Santa Anita Park has begun work to replace its synthetic racing surface with a dirt track for the 2010-11 season. Officials hope to have the track available for training the first week of December

"This marks the beginning of a very important chapter in our history here at Santa Anita," said Santa Anita President George Haines. "There is a great deal of anticipation from all corners of the thoroughbred industry and we're very excited to get this project underway and to return to live racing.

"We are currently working with both the California Thoroughbred Trainers (CTT) and the CHRB California Horse Racing Board), and together, we're developing a consensus with regard to the composition of the various soils that we'll be using."

If all goes according to plan, the track will open for training on December 6.

The CHRB 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.

The CHRB will issue the waiver after a series of tests are conducted on the top layer of the new track. The tests will be overseen by the CHRB.

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 on December 26.

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