Monday, January 7, 2008

Santa Anita Rains

As most know, racing has been canceled for the third consecutive day at Santa Anita due to drainage problems with the newly installed Cushion Track. I went out this morning just to check it out for myself and ran into an old friend of mine who happens to know quite a bit about what's going on at the track.

According to him, from what he knows, when the Cushion Track was installed over the summer, the asphalt base was completely sealed off due to extreme heat (105+ degrees) at the time. And that's why it won't drain "vertically". It seems that the asphalt isn't nearly as porous as advertised.

If this is true, it's worse than the official story. And it would seem that solving the problem is more complicated than most think.

I'm not sure if this has been reported anywhere else but it seems to make sense. Another guy I talked to thinks it's that the sand in the track has coagulated, from the rain, preventing adequate drainage. That's more like the official story. But, the surface is the same as the one at Hollywood Park? And it's been raining there too. Everyone I talked to agrees that there is more to the truth than is being told by track officials.

Any way you look at it, it seems that the smart thing to do is to tear the whole thing up and start over. They can't keep canceling racing every time it rains, since I think everyone agrees that they're going to have to put in a new surface anyway.

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