New Training Track At Santa Anita On Course For Mid-January Opening

Santa Anita's training surface under construction | Santa Anita

As part of a larger $32 million improvement plan, Santa Anita's training track should re-open in mid-January after it was closed for construction Nov. 12, as it changes from a sand-based surface to an all-weather synthetic one, the track said in a release Friday afternoon.

Constructed by Tapeta Footings, the new surface is designed to improve safety while also helping to limit weather-related training disruptions.

“The main thing is having synthetic will alleviate a complete stoppage of training because of weather,” said Jason Egan, Santa Anita Director of Racing and Racing Secretary.

This week has provided a perfect example of the potential impact of a synthetic training track at Santa Anita. With back-to-back rainstorms hitting the area, the main track was “sealed” on Tuesday and has since been closed entirely for training.

“We have some unique situations in California with rules as it relates to weather,” Egan said. “Like with the rain this week. It either closes our racetrack entirely or limits what our training activities can be.”

With the worst of this week's rainstorms having passed, Santa Anita's main track is expected to be unsealed Friday. Per rules of the California Racing Board, only joggers will be allowed on the track Saturday. Full training is slated to resume on Sunday given the current forecast.

“Having a synthetic training track, we can continue on with workouts, gallops, that sort of thing. I think it will be a big assist,” Egan added.

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