Santa Anita cancels Friday race program in anticipation of rain
Santa Anita has canceled Friday’s racing program in anticipation of rain that could compromise the racing surfaces. It also moved two turf stakes races from this weekend to next. Racing is scheduled to resume Saturday and Sunday.
The Grade 2 $200,000 San Marcos Stakes, a 1¼-mile turf race originally scheduled for Saturday, will be run Feb. 6. Sunday’s $75,000 Baffle Stakes, a 6½ furlong turf stakes, will now be run Feb. 5. Other races that were scheduled for Friday will be spread out over next weekend’s cards.
According to weather.com, there is at least a 70% chance of rain Thursday and Friday, with rain chances diminishing greatly on Saturday and Sunday.
“The models are showing us three straight days of rain, with the heaviest hitting around noon on Friday,” said Nate Newby, general manager at Santa Anita. “We’ve discussed it with our stakeholders and canceling Friday in advance provides horsemen, fans and employees the best scenario to plan accordingly.”
Santa Anita has been proactive in its weather-related track surface management since the spike in horse fatalities in the winter and spring of 2019. While no direct cause of the deaths was determined, it was believed wet weather and management of the surface could have been factors. Since then, Santa Anita has been quick to cancel racing in the face of bad weather and even started writing race cards without turf racing if rain was forecast.
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