Santa Anita could host Breeders' Cup in 2009

The site of the 2009 Breeders' Cup will be announced today, and Santa Anita officials are confident their facility will get the nod. If that is the case, it would mean back-to-back Breeders' Cups for the Arcadia facility during the fall Oak Tree meeting there.

"I think we're the leading candidate," said Allen Gutterman, the track's vice president of marketing.

Sherwood "Chilli" Chillingworth, executive vice president and director of the Oak Tree Racing Assn., also expressed optimism in getting the bid.

"This year, we'll host the first Breeders' Cup to be run on a synthetic track," he said, "and next year we'd be the first to host back-to-back Breeders' Cups."

This year's Breeders' Cup is scheduled for Oct. 24-25.

That gives Santa Anita plenty of time to fix the problems it has been having with its new synthetic surface, or replace it.

Repair work is underway to repair the track's drainage problem that has contributed to eight racing days being lost during the winter meet that began Dec. 26.

The original plan was to have the job done in time to resume racing Friday, but a heavier-than-expected rain Sunday delayed the start of the project.

Santa Anita President Ron Charles said a decision on whether to begin racing Friday or wait until Saturday won't be made until today.

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