07/26/2006 11:00PM

Santa Anita reopens a renovated main track


Santa Anita reopened its main track earlier this week after 10 days of renovation to reconstruct the base.

During the reconstruction, the track conducted two inspections of the base and found "a lack of consistency," said the track's president, Ron Charles.

"There were a couple of areas there were concern," he said. "Was it areas you would see? No. But there were a couple of areas we felt needed to be fixed."

Charles said the reconstruction cost $150,000 to $175,000 and required the track to dig down to the base twice. Sonar tests were conducted to examine the consistency. Charles said the track added 1,000 tons of silica sand to the surface.

When the main track was closed, horses were forced to exercise on the training track. The first workouts over the main track came on Wednesday.

"We've heard nothing but positive reports," Charles said. "People have had glowing things to say. We're hoping we can maintain it in that position."

Trainer John Shirreffs, who has horses at Del Mar and Santa Anita, said on Thursday that he would wait a few more days before working horses.

"You can't hear the horses hit the ground," said Shirreffs. "It looked good."

Santa Anita reopens for the Oak Tree meeting on Sept. 27.