Santa Anita is postponing its opening day card from Thursday, Dec. 26 to Saturday, Dec. 28 due to a poor weather forecast. The winter/spring meet opening day card, which is highlighted by the GI Malibu S. and GI La Brea S., has been held Dec. 26 since the 1976 season.
“Opening Day is traditionally one of our biggest days of the year, but our commitment to safety is first and foremost,” said Aidan Butler, Acting Executive Director of California for The Stronach Group. “It was very important to make this call as early as possible for our horsemen, fans and employees. There are many moving parts, especially in the training of these wonderful horses, and this decision is being made at this time out of respect to give all involved plenty of advance notice.”
“It is very difficult to predict weather forecasts in Southern California more than 48 hours in advance,” said Dennis Moore, who has returned to his responsibilities overseeing Santa Anita track surfaces. “Right now, they have rain Monday through Thursday morning. But the models are continuing to change and when they do that, they are usually building up moisture.”
Santa Anita’s revised opening week schedule has live racing Saturday, Dec. 28 and Sunday, Dec. 29; New Year’s Day Wednesday, Jan. 1, and Friday, Jan. 3 through Sunday, Jan. 5. First post on opening day will be 11:00 a.m.