Did Santa Anita err when choosing Pro-Ride?

I spoke with an industry official this week who has serious questions whether Santa Anita’s Pro-Ride surface will hold up during the course of an 84-day meet.

“Everyone loves the Pro-Ride for 12 weeks,” said the official, who requested anonymity because he is not authorized by the track to speak on the subject. “They’re good tracks for 12 weeks.

“The thing is, you gallop 1,000 horses on it every day, after a few weeks it’s going to get firm. You get half a ton horse going over it, it’s going to get firm. Surprise, surprise. But (Ian Pearse) doesn’t like them to work it, so the next question is why doesn’t he like them to work it? Because everytime you work it, it just falls apart.

“This track will fall apart before April. I don’t think it will last to the Breeders’ Cup because the stuff they put in doesn’t tolerate sun. After 500 hours of sun, it changes. After 1,000 hours of sun, it’s just not there. It all evaporates.”

Interesting stuff from a guy who does know what he’s talking about. If he’s right, Santa Anita could be in a jam come the next two or three months.

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