07/01/2016 12:56PM

With no turf racing, fields are shrinking

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ARCADIA, Calif. – Since turf racing ceased here on June 19, field sizes have fallen sharply.

For the five racing days from June 23 through Thursday, fields averaged 6.71 runners. For the entire spring-summer meeting, which began May 5, fields have averaged 7.44 runners. The corresponding meeting in 2015 had an average field size of 7.84 runners. The winter-spring meeting, which ran from late December to early April, averaged 8.1 runners per race.

Track officials are hoping for a bump in entries in the final days of the meeting, which ends July 10. Del Mar begins its summer meeting July 15, and some horses could run during the final week of the Santa Anita meeting rather than the early weeks at Del Mar.

Sunday’s nine-race program will not help the average. There are 58 horses entered. The largest field is in the ninth race, the $75,000 Southern Truce Stakes, which drew eight runners.

There is racing on Monday for the Fourth of July holiday before racing resumes for the final three days of the meeting July 8-10.

New sod was installed on the turf course in June, and the course will not be used again until the start of the autumn meeting on Sept. 30. Racing on the hillside turf course ceased on June 5 and on the oval portion of the course on June 19 to allow for the new surface to be installed.

Steve Wilson More than 1 year ago
Very nearly an unbettable product.  Good thing the Breeders Cup is there 11 times every 8 years to help So. Cals handle
William More than 1 year ago
Even with turf racing feels are striking and so is the attendance 
Santa Anita will go the way of Hollywood Park within ten years.
J Vette More than 1 year ago
Why didn't they just close the track, the racing that they are offering the last month is EMBARRASSING & PATHETIC....
1 Saturday, 9 races, 5 were maiden races !!!!!! 
William More than 1 year ago
They will close it within ten years.
Young people have no interest in it.
Thursday and Fridays crowd average 2,700 all old timers and crowds get small every years as they died and nobody replaces them.
And remember parking and admission is free.
Translation: Horse racing is a dying sport.
Michael Zeisler More than 1 year ago
Not much you can do without Turf racing
Ian GW More than 1 year ago
Been like that at various tracks.Its a real grind. Need some balance too disproportionate. I hope it picks up soon. Been this way for like 3 months. 
Chris More than 1 year ago
Bad for bettors, good for owners, I guess.  No chance that entries will increase with Del Mar around the corner and bigger purses.  
Michael Zeisler More than 1 year ago
Are you sure you meant no chance of fields getting bigger when they go to Del Mar.
Pat Lyons More than 1 year ago
Bad decision no racing on #fourthOfJuly  #worldFamousPatLyons #patsRightDontFightIt #ImCoolLikeThat  #plainAndSimple  ... fun place to party and play the ponies ... if i put a suit on at the track ... id have the gates turning like a #SpinningWheel #gyroscope