01/10/2008 1:00AM

Racing resumes at Santa Anita


After several days without rain, racing resumed Thursday at Santa Anita on its Cushion Track surface for the first time since last Friday.

Santa Anita is considering replacing the Cushion Track with a dirt surface for the remainder of the meeting, but on Thursday track president Ron Charles said no decision had been made on whether there would be a change in racing surface.

"We just need more time," Charles said.

"This is a major, major decision. Potentially, we’re going to take the entire Cushion Track out and replace it with another surface. If we’re going to put dirt in, we have to make sure we have a very high-quality surface."

In the meantime, Charles summoned from Australia Ian Pearse, the founder of Pro-Ride, another synthetic surface company, to consult on the ongoing problems at Santa Anita.

Santa Anita's Cushion Track surface is not draining properly, and the track was forced to cancel racing on Saturday, Sunday and Monday after heavy rain left the surface unsafe.

The weather forecast for Santa Anita is for dry conditions through at least the middle of next week.