01/06/2011 5:35PM

Workers repair section of main track in time for Thursday's races

Jay Privman
Workers bring in new material to fill in the areas where drainage was poor in part of the stretch on Thursday morning at Santa Anita.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Santa Anita’s main track closed for training at 8:30 on Thursday morning because of drainage issues just past the finish line, an area track superintendent Richard Tedesco wanted to address prior to Thursday’s races. By noon, the track was back to normal, all set for the day’s races, which began at 1 p.m. Pacific.

The area of concern was largely from the middle of the track to the outer rail, and from the finish line to the seven-furlong pole. Heavy equipment removed the wet material, new material was added, and then the track was harrowed.

“I made the call,” Tedesco said shortly before noon. “I thought it was an unsafe area. We took off the wet stuff, and brought in the good stuff.”

The track held up well during a deluge during several days prior to opening day Dec. 26, but that was because the track was sealed for a hard rain. When wet weather hit Sunday afternoon, the track was opened up for that day’s racing, and water seeped in.

“That was a killer rain,” Tedesco said. “It seeped in slowly.”

In addition, shooting was conducted on the new HBO Series “Luck” earlier this week on dark days following morning training hours, preventing additional work on the track.

The area in question tends to be the slowest to dry because of shadows from the clubhouse roof. And temperatures in recent mornings have dipped into the 30s.

Despite the truncated training hours, 109 horses worked on Thursday morning, including the top-class sprint mare Sweet August Moon, who had the best six-furlong time of the day, 1:11. Also working was the highly regarded 3-year-old Tapizar, who went six furlongs in 1:12.40.