10/14/2007 11:00PM

Cushion Track workouts rained out

EmailARCADIA, Calif. - Track officials canceled workouts on Santa Anita's main track on Saturday after the surface failed to drain sufficiently following overnight rain. This is the second time that wet weather has caused problems for the track's newly installed Cushion Track synthetic surface.

Approximately a half-inch of rain fell early Saturday morning. There was no disruption to the 10-race program on Saturday.

"We did have some areas that didn't drain like we thought it would," track president Ron Charles said. "About 80 or 90 percent of the track is fine. We're going to evaluate it and see how it does. Everyone is confident that we can fix the problem."

Charles said there were problems with an area near the quarter pole and on the outside of the track near the finish line. He said that officials with Cushion Track of Burnley, England, which manufactured the surface at Santa Anita, were scheduled to study the surface on Monday and Tuesday afternoons.

"We'll open the track up and see what is causing" the draining problem, Charles said.

Drainage problems were not limited to Santa Anita after Saturday's rain. Hollywood Park, which also has Cushion Track, had only 15 recorded works on Saturday before the track was closed because it did not drain properly, trainers said. Hollywood Park track consultant Dennis Moore was not available for comment.

Santa Anita's synthetic track was installed this summer. In September, a few days before the current Oak Tree meeting began, trainers complained that the course turned inconsistent following a rainstorm.

Last year, Southern California had minimal rain during the early autumn. Charles said the recent storms will allow Santa Anita officials to better understand how wet weather affects the synthetic surface before more frequent rains occur during the winter.

"In a way, we were fortunate," Charles said.

Both tracks were busy with workouts on Sunday. At Hollywood Park, there were 153 recorded works, along with 213 at Santa Anita.

Monday racing next meet?

Santa Anita is tentatively planning to race Thursday through Monday rather than Wednesday through Sunday at its upcoming winter-spring meeting, Charles said over the weekend.

The move is designed to increase simulcast business on Mondays, when few major tracks run, and to enhance weekday ontrack business.

"We're trying to understand it from a simulcasting standpoint," Charles said. "We'll know more in the next week or two. Right now, our plans are for the entire meeting. I think we could see some opportunities on Monday that could make sense."

During the current Oak Tree meeting, the track has struggled to attract $1 million in ontrack handle on some Wednesdays and Thursdays. Last Thursday, for example, the ontrack handle reached a meeting low $889,186.

Charles acknowledged that the change could take some by surprise.

"People are so used to Wednesdays through Fridays," he said. "We could try different promotions" on Mondays.

Santa Anita's application to conduct a winter-spring meeting from Dec. 26 to April 20 is expected to be heard at the California Horse Racing Board's November meeting.

Bordonaro's camp grabs opportunity

Bordonaro, fourth in the Grade 1 Ancient Title Stakes on Oct. 7, was pre-entered for the $2 million Breeders' Cup Sprint at Monmouth Park on Monday, trainer Bill Spawr said.

Spawr said a contributing factor in the decision to run was the defection of Vosburgh Stakes winner Fabulous Strike because of illness last week.

"That's a big out for us," Spawr said. "He was speed. I really respected him a lot."

A 6-year-old owned by breeders Fred Carrillo and Daniel Cassella, Bordonaro will wear blinkers for the first time in the BC Sprint on advice from jockey Richard Migliore, Spawr said.

"Richie thought he was goofing around a little bit on the lead," Spawr said of the Ancient Title. "He doesn't have quite the speed in the first quarter-mile that he used to have. Maybe he's lost some focus. We'll try to get a little more speed with him."

BC Juvenile hopefuls work

Salute the Sarge, Set Play, and Tasha's Miracle, the winners of summer stakes for 2-year-olds in Southern California, worked on Sunday and Monday in preparation for the Breeders' Cup.

Salute the Sarge, the winner of the Hollywood Juvenile and Best Pal Stakes, worked five furlongs in 1:00.60 at Hollywood Park on Sunday.

Trainer Eric Guillot said Salute the Sarge ran the last quarter-mile in 23.60 seconds. "I've got him right on the money," Guillot said. "He came back playing around."

Salute the Sarge was second in the Grade 1 Norfolk Stakes at Santa Anita on Sept. 30 in his most recent start. He is being pointed for the $2omillion Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

Salute the Sarge was scheduled to work on Saturday, but the workout was postponed when Hollywood Park's main track was closed because of wet conditions.

Tasha's Miracle, the winner of the Sorrento Stakes at Del Mar, worked six furlongs in 1:12.40 at Santa Anita. She finished fifth in the Oak Leaf Stakes at Santa Anita on Sept. 29, and is being pointed to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies.

So is Set Play, who worked six furlongs in 1:12.40 under jockey Brice Blanc at San Luis Rey training center on Monday. Trainer Peter Miller timed Set Play in 23.20 seconds for the last quarter-mile.

Set Play was seventh in the Oak Leaf, her first start since winning the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante on Sept.o3.

Dancing Edie sharpens up

At Hollywood Park, Dancing Edie, the winner of the Grade 3 Sen. Ken Maddy Handicap at Santa Anita on Sept. 26, worked five furlongs in 1:00.20, the fifth-fastest of 66 recorded works at the distance. She may start in the $1 million E.P. Taylor Stakes at Woodbine on Sunday, trainer Craig Dollase said.

"It was a good work," Dollase said. "She struggled a little bit on the track. My riders said the track was a little heavy down the lane."

Gryder, Talamo suspended

Jockeys Aaron Gryder and Joe Talamo have received three-day suspensions for a bumping incident in the stretch of the first race last Friday. Talamo rode Unspoken Fur ($8), who finished 1 1/2 lengths in front of Sweet August Moon in the maiden race for 2-year-old fillies.

Gryder was cited for failing to maintain a straight course, and Talamo for altering course without clearance. The suspensions cover races for Saturday, Sunday, and Wednesday, Oct. 24.

Talamo indicated he would appeal, while Gryder said he will serve the days.