AP NEWS

Santa Anita set to re-open Thursday after work on track

February 27, 2019

ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) — Santa Anita will reopen for training and racing on Thursday after its main track was closed for evaluation in the wake of 19 horse deaths during the winter meeting.

The track’s dirt surface was peeled back 5 inches on Tuesday so its base could be thoroughly examined. The track has had 11½ inches of rain and unusually cold temperatures this month.

The track was closed for training on Monday and Tuesday so moisture content and soil consistency below the surface could be checked.

Santa Anita officials brought in Mick Peterson, a University of Kentucky track safety expert, to review the subsurface and surface data. He already evaluates soil samples from the track on a monthly basis.

Santa Anita has formed a committee of California Horse Racing Board commissioner Alex Solis, a veteran trainer and jockey and a member of the track’s management team to evaluate the data and monitor feedback from trainers, jockeys and exercise riders.

There have been 19 fatalities during the current meeting that began Dec. 26 compared with seven last year. Last Saturday, Breeders’ Cup winner Battle of Midway sustained a fatal injury during a workout.