This and that at the track

Word has it that Santa Anita’s conversion to its new Pro-Ride surface will be completed by the end of this week and horses will be allowed to begin working over it as soon as this weekend. I’ll have an update in my column on Friday …
The Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Santa Anita on Oct. 25 is shaping up as quite a race, what with Lewis Michael looking so impressive in Sunday’s Pat O’Brien Handicap at Del Mar. Add in the Bruce Headley-trained Street Boss, Benny the Bull from the East and other top-class sprinters and you’ve got a stellar field. My money is still on Street Boss …
It looks like defending Breeders’ Cup Sprint champion Midnight Lute will miss this year’s running. He encountered all sorts of trouble in the Pat O’Brien and, to make matters worse, he suffered a deep gash on his front left foot. He’s on the shelf for a while …


I talked to some trainers over the weekend who are upset that the CHRB did not make the ban on anabolic steroids immediate, rather than phasing in the penalty stage. They feel it gave some trainers leeway in terms of continuing to use steroids. They also don’t believe it’s fair to the bettors. I agree …
Get ready for the outcry from the anti-synthetic folks if Go Between, who loves these artificial surfaces, wins the Breeders’ Cup Classic over Santa Anita’s new Pro-Ride surface. Go Between is one of the top handicap horses in the nation on artificial tracks, but has been only an ordinary horse on dirt.

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