02/14/2008 12:00AM

Bit of rain no problem for Cushion Track


ARCADIA, Calif. – Racing at Santa Anita was set to resume on Thursday afternoon, after a tumultuous 24 hours in which the Cushion Track surface was criticized for being too hard, underwent two significant renovations during and after racing on Wednesday, and withstood approximately a quarter-inch of rain early Thursday.

Racing was briefly delayed on Wednesday after several jockeys said the course was too firm. The surface was harrowed deeper between races, and performed better in the final three main track races, jockeys said.

The track was harrowed again after dusk on Wednesday. Rain fell overnight, but the track drained successfully, allowing for training on Thursday morning.

Santa Anita lost 11 days of racing in January and early February after the track failed to drain following several rainstorms.

The Cushion Track underwent five days of renovation from Feb. 4-8 to improve drainage. A polymer and fiber from the Australian synthetic surface Pro-Ride was added to the existing Cushion Track surface during the renovation.