12/14/2009 12:00AM

Santa Anita reopens for galloping


Santa Anita's main track, which was closed Sunday after failing to drain properly, was open for galloping Monday and was expected to allow workouts Tuesday, Ron Charles, the track's president, said Monday morning.

"Out of precaution, we asked people not to breeze today," Charles said. "The outside lanes are still a little wet. The running lanes are fine - if we had racing today, we could race - but we thought we'd be better off being safe than sorry. The track should be wide open on Tuesday."

Santa Anita's opening day is Dec. 26.

Charles said Santa Anita received 5 1/2 to 6 inches of rain last week, then was hit by an additional 3 inches of rain in a 24-hour period ending Sunday morning.

Richard Tedesco, Santa Anita's track superintendent, was in Dubai over the weekend and was scheduled to be back at the track Monday night. In the interim, his assistants worked on the track.

Eoin Harty, a trainer based at Santa Anita, described the track as "surprisingly good" on Monday morning.

"It's not perfect, but I think by tomorrow it will be," Harty said. "The chutes were perfect. I was on it at 4 o'clock last night, and I didn't think it would be open today. It drained overnight. It's phenomenally better."

There were 21 workouts on the main track Saturday, but no activity on the main track Sunday. Training was restricted to an infield training track Sunday.

Santa Anita has had drainage trouble at times with its main track since a synthetic surface was installed in August 2007. The original Cushion Track brand surface failed to drain properly, leading to the cancellation of 11 days of racing in winter 2007-08. The poor drainage led officials to overhaul the surface with Pro-Ride synthetic material in February 2008, and more extensive work was done with Pro-Ride in summer 2008.

The lost day of training on Sunday was the first time training had been interrupted by wet weather since then. No racing days had been lost since February 2008.

- additional reporting by Steve Andersen