I saw Doug O’Neill in the Top of the Park restaurant at Fairplex Park on Wednesday and asked him if what I had heard was true — were trainers unhappy with the recent condition of Santa Anita’s Pro-Ride surface since it re-opened for training on Sept. 1?
O’Neill told me that while the track was a little uneven and had some inconsistencies in it for a few days, the problem has been corrected.
“The first five lanes are fine now, and that’s all you really need during training hours,” O’Neill said. “I think they did some work on it. It will be OK.”
O’Neill sent 12 horses out over the surface last Monday morning, so that backs up what he’s saying. He can’t be too concerned about it.
Santa Anita closed its synthetic Pro-Ride surface for eight days in late August, restricting workouts to the infield dirt training track, so that polymer and binder could be added to the artificial track before the beginning of the Oak Tree meet on Sept. 30.
The Breeders’ Cup will be held at Santa Anita on Nov. 6-7 for an unprecedented second consecutive year.