Santa Anita hopes to have the new materials from Pro-Ride mixed into its Cushion Track by late next week, a process they expect will solve the drainage problems that have plauged the racetrack and caused a record number of cancellations this month.
But what if it doesn’t work? Track president Ron Charles seems confident that all the tests conducted by Pro-Ride founder Ian Pearse and the folks in the USC civil engineering department will lead to a solution. All the owners, trainers and jockeys that have seen the test results agree, that the polymer fibers will solve the dilemma and we’ll get back to racing and not worrying about whether rain is going to wreak more havoc. Again, what if this Pro-Ride material is applied to the whole track, not just small test plots, and it doesn’t solve the problem as expected? I shudder to think about the effect that could have on Southland racing if the reformulation does not work. Certainly, we’ll all be watching closely when these new materials are added and the next big rainstorm hits.