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Oct 29, 2010

Higher purses projected for Santa Anita

By: SPORTS NETWORK


Arcadia, CA (Sports Network) - When Santa Anita Park opens for racing on Sunday, December 26, overnight purses are expected to be substantially higher from last year.

Santa Anita will conduct racing with an increase of 25 percent in purses and with a brand new dirt main track.

"With the return to natural dirt and the prospect of significantly higher purses, it makes it easier for us to attract quality barns," said racing secretary Rick Hammerle. "We're already sensing a high degree of anticipation for this meet and we'll be at the Breeders' Cup next week in Kentucky recruiting horsemen to come to Santa Anita this winter. We're very optimistic."

Construction is currently going on at Santa Anita replacing its synthetic racing surface with a dirt track for the 2010-11 season. Track officials expect training to begin on December 6.

"Anytime you're able to significantly increase your purses across the board, it's a good thing," commented director of racing Mike Harlow. "Along with the fact that we've resolved the situation with the main track, we expect a good response from horsemen this year."

The 76 day winter/spring meet, which features the Santa Anita Derby and Handicap, will conclude on Sunday, April 17.



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