“We are very anxious to undertake and complete this project,” said Santa Anita President Ron Charles. “After consulting extensively with (Magna Entertainment Chairman) Frank Stronach and MEC track consultants, we have all decided this would be the best course of action for Santa Anita to take with the Breeders’ Cup committed to coming here over the next two years. We are firmly convinced the people at Pro-Ride can provide the product our racing demands and just as importantly, we know they will provide the oversight we need to guarantee this surface drains properly, is kind to horse and rider, and that it will produce formful, consistent racing.”
“We’ve put a great deal of thought into this decision. We seriously considered other options, and we believe that staying with Pro-Ride and taking the time we did not have in February to fully upgrade the surface, is the way to go.”
With regard to training and stabling during the course of the project, Charles was quick to acknowledge cooperation on the part of Hollywood Park. “We appreciate very much that Hollywood has agreed to stay open for training during Del Mar. We will initiate this project at the conclusion of the Hollywood Park meet and we’ll be closed for training for most all of the Del Mar meet,” he said. “We also appreciate the cooperation of Ed Halpern and the California Thoroughbred Trainers (CTT) and the TOC (Thoroughbred Owners of California) for their willingness to work together with us to make these changes.”
Santa Anita’s new Pro-Ride synthetic surface will debut with the beginning of the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting on Sept. 24.