More than 60 horses worked out over Santa Antia’s main track Tuesday morning as the Arcadia racetrack prepared for four full days of racing — Thursday though Sunday — before workers begin to install the new Pro-Ride materials that hopefully will rectify the Cushion Track’s drainage problem.
Immediately following Sunday’s program, weather permitting, track superintendent Richard Tedesco and his crew will begin the four-day process of mixing in polymers and fibers to allow the track to drain. The plan is for the track to be dark next Monday through Thursday (Tuesday and Wednesday are regular dark days) and resume racing on Friday. The track will then hopefully be back on its Thursday-Monday schedule the remainder of the winter-spring meet, which ends April 20.
Track president Ron Charles has said Santa Anita will petition the California Horse Racing Board for additional dates to make up for what will be nine cancellations by next week. Heading into this year, Santa Anita had been forced to cancel full cards only six times in its 71-year history. Two other times racing was canceled after the first race because of heavy rain. Look for some six-day racing weeks soon to make up for the lost days, and also a few additional races here and there. For instance, Thursday’s and Friday’s cards this week include nine races rather than the normal eight.
Charles told the media last week Santa Anita management has been unable to reach Cushion Track officials, either through phone calls or e-mail. Tedesco said Tuesday that Pro-Ride founder Ian Pearse is calling the shots on the maintenance.