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Say what? Santa Anita isn't getting rid of Pro-Ride

March 2, 2010 |  6:48 pm

The man who runs Santa Anita, Frank Stronach, told reporters and horsemen at meetings this past weekend that he's not getting rid of the Arcadia track's disastrous Pro-Ride surface unless he's allowed to run the track with less regulation from the state, according to the Daily Racing Form.

Most importantly, he says he's not going to spend millions more under current business conditions. Does that mean every time it rains, he's going to risk the track having to cancel races because it won't drain properly? Already, five days have been washed out this meeting because of the surface.

It was announced earlier this year that the track would replace its Pro-Ride surface at the end of the meeting in April. Now that's off. Either Stronach is bluffing or he's making himself look like a fool.  And he's the guy who's running Magna Entertainment Corp., which filed for bankruptcy protection last year.

I thought the racing business was in trouble, but after this weekend, I'd say it's headed for a crash. The California Horse Racing Board isn't going to listen to threats. If Santa Anita doesn't take care of its track problems, the CHRB will simply award more racing dates to Hollywood Park.

Santa Anita is perhaps the best, most-liked track by fans in Southern California, but not for long if the boss doesn't act to fix his track's problems.

-- Eric Sondheimer