06/01/2014 2:10PM

Del Mar will install dirt surface similar to Santa Anita

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Del Mar will install a dirt surface in 2015 with material similar to what will be in place at Santa Anita this fall, according to Tom Robbins, the track’s director of racing.

The material is known as El Segundo sand, a locally based soil named for the portion of Southern California from which it is sourced. Santa Anita is collecting the same material and preparing for it installation on its main track in July. The material for the Santa Anita track is being stored in a parking lot on track property.

“We are purchasing the material out of the same source,” Robbins said. “It’s essentially the same material.”

Robbins said that Del Mar will store the material in Oceanside, north of Del Mar, where it will be prepared for installation following the conclusion of the track’s autumn meeting in November. Del Mar has a Polytrack synthetic surface.

Del Mar must seek final approval from the 22nd Agricultural District, which owns the Del Mar racetrack property, and the California Coastal Commission before launching the conversion, Robbins said.

Track superintendent Dennis Moore is overseeing the Santa Anita surface. Richard Tedesco will oversee the transformation of the Del Mar surface.

“We’re moving in the right direction,” Robbins said. “It’s encouraging that we have two trackmen working with other and using the same material.”