Santa Anita Park Ready for Action
The new Pro-Ride synthetic surface at Santa Anita Park is now two weeks old and it has been undergoing rigorous testing. Racing events at the track started yesterday and there is a spectacular line-up of events for this weekend and for the coming weeks leading up to the prestigious Breeder’s Cup Classic. Track officials hope that the exciting program of horse racing events that are scheduled will get fans and spectators excited and ready for the Breeder’s Cup Classic that promises to be a thrilling showdown.
While the racing action takes place over the weekend, officials will also be keeping a close eye on the happenings at Belmont Park, as they are hoping that if Curlin gives a solid performance or even wins the Jockey Club Gold Cup, the chances of Curlin running in the Breeder’s Cup might increase, and secure them a racing event of a life time with Curlin and Big Brown facing off against each other.
Last year, the Santa Anita Park racecourse realized that their track had taken a serious beating during terrible heavy rains that were experienced and on closer inspection they found out that drainage issues were only the beginning of their worries. The base of the track had also shown signs of damage and cracks and the racecourse therefore had to redo the base and the surface of their track. Most horsemen would agree that the Pro-Ride surface is better than a polytrack, and officials are confident that the track will improve racing conditions and that the positive feedback on the track will continue when it faces its first major test in the form of racing events.
The most Grade 1 races to have previously taken place at one racing venue on the same day was five. But this Saturday, 27 September 2008, Santa Anita is presenting no less than six Grade 1 horse racing events, of which five of these races will give the winning horses automatic entry into the Breeder’s Cup Classic. Some of the races to look forward to include the $250 000 Lady’s Secret, the $250 000 40th Oak Leaf, the $400 000 Yellow Ribbon Stakes and the $500 000 Goodwood Stakes.
The racing action will continue through to Saturday, when contenders for the Grade 2 $200 000 Oak Tree Mile and $250 000 Grade 1 Norfolk Stakes will be lining up in the starting gates. Santa Anita plans to keep the electrifying energy of top quality racing alive all the way through to the Breeder’s Cup, to give spectators a little taste of what is yet to come.