Santa Anita Creating New Solutions From Old Adversities
Racing at Santa Anita Park could be returning with the popular 6 1/2-furlong downhill sprint races.
Santa Anita was plagued by equine breakdowns at the meet that concluded June 23. In early April, the track stopped offering turf sprints down the hill after Arms Runner suffered a catastrophic breakdown in the Gr.3 San Simeon Stakes. Arms Runner broke down on the dirt portion of the course, where the outer turf crosses the main track to return runners to the main turf course.
Breeders' Cup CEO Craig Fravel said he had not heard criticism about the five-furlong configuration and that Breeders' Cup will work with Santa Anita officials on any issues. Later asked about the 5 1/2-furlong option, Fravel said Breeders' Cup was committed to five furlongs.
The Stronach Group is also considering moving the turf course outside the dirt track. That complete overhaul would eliminate the need for the crossover in 6 1/2-furlong races. That plan, of course, would not be an option for the upcoming fall meet.