03/29/2017 1:36PM

No rest needed for turf course

Barbara D. Livingston
Santa Anita has dropped plans to rest its turf course for a weekend in April.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Santa Anita intends to use its turf course throughout April rather than resting it April 14-16 – the first weekend of the spring-summer meeting – as planned earlier this year.

“As we get closer, we don’t need to come off of it,” said track senior vice president Joe Morris.

“You don’t want to go without turf racing if you don’t have to.”

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The turf course has not been used as extensively during the winter-spring meeting as it was last year because of rain in recent months. Through Sunday, Santa Anita had run 111 turf races since the start of the meeting Dec. 26. During the same time last year, there were 126 turf races. There were 146 turf races at the entire 2015-16 spring-summer meeting.

The track has lost three days at this meeting because of excessive rain.

“The bad news is we missed that many days of turf racing,” Morris said.

The winter-spring meeting ends April 9. The spring-summer meeting runs April 14 to July 4.

During the opening week of the spring-summer meeting, temporary rails will be set 30 feet from the permanent inside position to allow maintenance crews to renovate the innermost portion of the course.

“There are some things we can do to invigorate the Bermuda,” Morris said. “Knock on wood, it’s a good course, and it’s performed well.”

The course is a Bermuda-Bandera blend installed last June to replace a surface that showed significant wear and tear in the preceding year. The new course was used for the first time last September.