10/07/2014 3:30PM

Santa Anita cards extra race for Thursday


ARCADIA, Calif. -- For the second time in a week, there are nine races on a weekday at Santa Anita on Thursday.

Overall demand to enter horses was sufficient enough last Friday and again for Thursday to add a race to scheduled eight-race programs, racing secretary Rick Hammerle said.

Hammerle said it is difficult to predict whether similar circumstances will occur again through the end of the meeting Nov. 2. Prior to the start of the season Sept. 26, the track added two racing days – Thursday, Oct. 16, and Wednesday, Oct. 29. Since those days are approaching, the track will need to fill an additional 16 races to cover eight-race programs on those days.

In Thursday’s case, a $25,000 claiming race over seven furlongs for fillies and mares who had not won twice drew 10 entries. The race had been offered last weekend but was held over until Thursday.

“The timing is right, and the race had been backed up,” Hammerle said. “People had been training for this.”

Hammerle said that if extra races draw sufficient entries this week, they may be postponed to help fill races in the next week. This week, racing is conducted through Monday and then for four days from Thursday, Oct. 16, through Oct. 19.

There are eight races Friday, with 10 scheduled Saturday and nine Sunday.

Through Sunday, the seventh day of the meeting, field sizes have averaged 9.22 runners per race, equal to the similar time frame for the 2013 meeting. The entire 2013 meeting averaged 8.96 runners per race.