08/10/2014 6:38PM

Installation of new main track surface complete

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Santa Anita has completed the installation of a new racing surface that will be used for the first time during the autumn meeting that features the Breeders’ Cup races Oct. 31 and Nov. 1. The track’s autumn meeting begins Sept. 26.

Track superintendent Dennis Moore said Sunday he plans to spend the next few weeks blending and grading the material installed in late July and early August.

“It went fairly smoothly,” Moore said of the installation. “We’ll do a lot of watering and working the material, getting it blended and mixed.”

The installation began after the barn area was closed in mid-July, coinciding with the start of the Del Mar summer meeting. A locally based soil, known as El Segundo sand, was used for the new surface.

During the installation, the material previously used for racing was removed to the base, allowing the course to be surveyed for sloping and grading. Moore said that 20,000 yards of new material was installed.

The racetrack is expected to reopen for training on Labor Day weekend. Del Mar closes Sept. 3.

Earlier this year, Moore said the El Segundo sand is similar to what was used at Santa Anita in the 1970s and at Hollywood Park in the early 1980s. Recent construction projects at Los Angeles International Airport have allowed excavation of the material, which is where El Segundo is located.

The previous clay and sand track was installed in late 2010, replacing a troubled synthetic surface.

The El Segundo sand surface is similar to what Del Mar is scheduled to install in early 2015 to replace its existing Polytrack surface.

Quite a More than 1 year ago
If I had a nickel for every new track installed at Santa Anita.....
sjm80s . More than 1 year ago
Another death trap for equine?
Frank Reach More than 1 year ago
I have to laugh at all the folks that always complain about a speed bias. First off....let me give some advice to those of you NOT in the know.... SPEED WINS RACES. This is mostly true anyway. The reason why some horses are slow early...is because they are SLOW. Now, it's true, there are some great closers such as Zenyatta who saved her speed for late in the race. But, you notice that even she broke her maiden at first asking with her last speed. But, mostly speed horses do win most of the races...because they are simple faster than the others in the race. Simple as that. I wish Santa Anita well. Beautiful track, great horses and great racing. Gotta love it !
Vince Lentini More than 1 year ago
.exactly right....to quote John Parisella circa 1984 when his Fight Over was in the Preakness he was asked what his strategy was...I'd rather be in front than be president he said........
William Eisele More than 1 year ago
just get it right this time already
Patricia Doyle More than 1 year ago
I didn't see anything wrong with the "old main track" in the first place. I hate when they mess with the tracks. Just when you get handicapping going for you they up and spoil everything. Look at the turf track in Del Mar. Now there going to mess with their main track and change back to dirt. If something works leave it alone.
Joe Eckert More than 1 year ago
What about the grass course ?.Make sure they use the correct seed this time..
Boyd Cord More than 1 year ago
everybody is all ga-ga about this El Segundo sand. so then why did they stop using it?
Bruce Epstein More than 1 year ago
El Sugundo sand, so they are going back to a speed favoring main track like they had in the 70's and 80's.
Stephen Mercier More than 1 year ago
I hope so
Richard Holmes More than 1 year ago
The tracks in the 1970s and 80s were great. There was no speed bias. We have had a terrible speed bias at SA the last couple of years. I am expecting the new track to be a huge improvement.
Walter More than 1 year ago
Bruce, you may not remember correctly. Those tracks in the late 70s/early 80s were fair. Remember Eddie D had as good a chance to close like the wind as PVal & Sandy Hawley had at wiring a field.
Boyd Cord More than 1 year ago
so now I bet they expect guys to run $300,000 horse over the UNTESTED surface. Remember all the "everything is going great" talk at SA and DMR in the past. This industry is a riot.
Edward Nelson More than 1 year ago
They should do whatever Saratoga does. That is the fairest track in the country. There is never any bias of any kind.
P Cerv More than 1 year ago
Ed, you have got to be kidding! How many years have you played the Races?
martymar . More than 1 year ago
have you been watching the races at Saratoga? it seems like every races is won by the pacesetter or someone just seating off it.
Edward Nelson More than 1 year ago
Obviously your clueless.
martymar . More than 1 year ago
I'm clueless maybe you should take your homer hat off. and put your glasses on
Hail No More than 1 year ago
Most races were on turf yesterday, but the majority of the dirt races were won on or near the lead, only the first race, did a horse launch from next to last to get up and win..
martymar . More than 1 year ago
apparently you're clueless like me or maybe this dude is watching others race from a different decade.
Boyd Cord More than 1 year ago
why do you have to kill the guy? not many people are into Horses, read, listen and move on. Too many of us think they know it all. well i don't and I know the best are wrong most of the time. I agree whatever Saratoga is doing ..do.
flash gordon More than 1 year ago
and cal races are won by frontrunners
sjm80s . More than 1 year ago
CANT THAT BE SAID ABOUT EVERY MAJOR TRACK!!!!!??????
MitchP More than 1 year ago
good point edward. saratoga and socal have identical weather, the rainfall is the same so an identical surface should work just fine.and saratoga plays the same on fast dirt or slop. never a bias.
Edward Nelson More than 1 year ago
Slop is a different story. Slop favors speed reguardless of track. Mostly because horses generally don't really care for mud in there face, among other reasons. But I do see your point about weathering for the dirt. I just think that SA needs to do something to make the track play fair.
Hail No More than 1 year ago
""saratoga and socal have identical weather"" What?!?
MitchP More than 1 year ago
sarcasm einstein
Walter More than 1 year ago
If this dirt is the same as used at Hol in the 70s, it's tremendous! It has a reddish tint, very fair and an honest surface. I'm looking forward to seeing it