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New Santa Anita Track Nearly Ready To Test
With the US Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita less than 10 weeks away, track president Ron Charles told the California Horse Racing Board "its new synthetic racing surface is nearly ready for the acid test," reported bloodhorse.com. Charles confirmed: "The track's coming along well. We hope to have horses on it by the end of next week (August 29)." While some horsemen in parts of the US "have expressed reservations about bringing their horses to Santa Anita to run on an unproven surface" in the Breeders' Cup, Charles noted: "The interest from Europe has never been greater because the trainers there will have an option between running on synthetic track, which they are used to, and grass." This will be the 1st Breeders' Cup to employ a synthetic racing surface & Santa Anita, as well as the CHRB (which mandated that its major tracks switch from traditional dirt surfaces) "are under pressure to make sure things go well this year". The 2-day Breeders' Cup series is also scheduled to return to Santa Anita in 2009. The Cushion Track racing surface originally installed at Santa Anita "has undergone virtually complete replacement, with Pro-Ride Racing Australia putting in the new composite material & overhauling the drainage system". Charles emphasised that, so far "not only is the drainage working properly, but the new surface just feels fantastic!"