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Old 08-18-2010, 06:59 PM   #1
andymays
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For the 10th time: Sources: Santa Anita going back to dirt

http://www.insidesocal.com/horseraci...oing-back.html

Excerpt:

My sources all tell me that Frank Stronach will inform horsemen during a meeting at Del Mar tonight that he will install a traditional dirt track at Santa Anita immediately following the Oak Tree meet and it will be finished in time for the track's winter-spring meet that begins on Dec. 26.

Stronach also reportedly will tell horsemen that he'd like to have Oak Tree as a tenant for three additional years after this one, but that is contingent on a few things happening in his favor. One industry souce told me he still expects Oak Tree to be run at Del Mar beginning in 2011.
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Old 08-18-2010, 07:04 PM   #2
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Old 08-18-2010, 07:38 PM   #3
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My sources all tell me that Frank Stronach will inform horsemen during a meeting at Del Mar tonight that he will install a traditional dirt track at Santa Anita immediately following the Oak Tree meet and it will be finished in time for the track's winter-spring meet that begins on Dec. 26.


Very good news if true Andy!!!
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Old 08-18-2010, 07:42 PM   #4
andymays
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Quote:
Originally Posted by exiles
My sources all tell me that Frank Stronach will inform horsemen during a meeting at Del Mar tonight that he will install a traditional dirt track at Santa Anita immediately following the Oak Tree meet and it will be finished in time for the track's winter-spring meet that begins on Dec. 26.


Very good news if true Andy!!!
Art Wilson is plugged in pretty well. I think this is the real deal.
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Old 08-18-2010, 07:45 PM   #5
elhelmete
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Quote:
Originally Posted by exiles
My sources all tell me that Frank Stronach will inform horsemen during a meeting at Del Mar tonight that he will install a traditional dirt track at Santa Anita immediately following the Oak Tree meet and it will be finished in time for the track's winter-spring meet that begins on Dec. 26.


Very good news if true Andy!!!
That's 55 days total to remove, rebuild, replace, allow sufficient training to get confidence of horsemen, and otherwise prepare for the 12/26 traditional open.

Not buying it, though I'd love to see it.

They should let Oak Tree go elsewhere for this year and start reconstruction right after Labor Day.
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Old 08-18-2010, 07:48 PM   #6
andymays
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elhelmete
That's 55 days total to remove, rebuild, replace, allow sufficient training to get confidence of horsemen, and otherwise prepare for the 12/26 traditional open.

Not buying it, though I'd love to see it.

They should let Oak Tree go elsewhere for this year and start reconstruction right after Labor Day.

I think they figured out that they can't make it another full year with the Pro Ride. The problems with it are probably too great to go beyond Oak Tree.
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Old 08-18-2010, 08:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andymays
I think they figured out that they can't make it another full year with the Pro Ride. The problems with it are probably too great to go beyond Oak Tree.
I agree, that's why I think if they wait until Nov 1 to start that gives them all of September and October to fiddle faddle around and come up with a reason not to switch. Also, why sink one more dime into Pro Ride to gussy up in time for Oak Tree...if you're going to switch Nov 1?

They haven't, if the lack of public works is a sign, been training over the track, and with the racing moving to Pomona...why not start now (lease issues with Oak Tree notwithstanding)?

They've starting some work on the base there already, no? Is it possible that they've found something and maybe crunched the numbers and figured switch to dirt is actually more cost effective...that to properly refurb the Pro Ride they'd basically have to do like 2/3 of the work they'd need to do to switch to dirt anyway?

Also, I'd love the opinion of any horsemen here on how many days of training you would want before you felt OK racing over a brand new dirt surface.
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Old 08-18-2010, 08:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elhelmete
I agree, that's why I think if they wait until Nov 1 to start that gives them all of September and October to fiddle faddle around and come up with a reason not to switch. Also, why sink one more dime into Pro Ride to gussy up in time for Oak Tree...if you're going to switch Nov 1?

They haven't, if the lack of public works is a sign, been training over the track, and with the racing moving to Pomona...why not start now (lease issues with Oak Tree notwithstanding)?

They've starting some work on the base there already, no? Is it possible that they've found something and maybe crunched the numbers and figured switch to dirt is actually more cost effective...that to properly refurb the Pro Ride they'd basically have to do like 2/3 of the work they'd need to do to switch to dirt anyway?

Also, I'd love the opinion of any horsemen here on how many days of training you would want before you felt OK racing over a brand new dirt surface.
From what I understand rocks are coming up from the base in the bad area near the finish line. They probably figure that if it's happening there it may be happening all over. They can probably get through a short meet with the Pro Ride. I'm sure they'll have everything in place to get the job done for the Santa Anita meet.

And then again Frank might change his mind at the meeting.
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Old 08-18-2010, 09:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andymays

From what I understand rocks are coming up from the base
in the bad area near the finish line.

It's good to know that there is a contigency plan for running the early days
the SAX winter meet at Hollywood Park in case the new dirt track isn't ready for opening day.

I gather that they're finally going to get it right this time around.

This means no cutting corners. Everything just has to be perfect
from the plumbing, base, cushion, along with a proper test period for the horses working over it.

That way Gary Stevens can endorse it on opening day...

"If they had this stuff back then, I'd still be riding".
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Old 08-18-2010, 09:18 PM   #10
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I think they should go ahead with plans to run Oak Tree at Hollywood Park and start in September to rebuild the track if they are going to do it.

What is the long range weather forecast?

Sometimes the rains come early and then they will be really screwed if it starts raining in November and December!

They could be in the position where there is no meet at all!
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Old 08-18-2010, 10:42 PM   #11
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For the 10th time, i'll believe it when i see it.

I think if SA goes back to dirt (are you listening Frank) the SA handle will skyrocket and the DMR handle will plummet. People still bet DMR somewhat because if you follow Ca racing, all the surfaces are plastic, so its not like you can bet 4 months of dirt and then take some time off until SA reopens.

now, if SA is dirt, i believe that many will follow SA and bet the meet and then take some time off and enjoy their summer. No way you're going to attempt DMR when most horses have established dirt form at SA.

DMR's handle takes a huge hit if SA goes back to dirt imo.
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Old 08-18-2010, 10:54 PM   #12
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Someone's reporting that they've heard from someone at the meeting that

1) Dirt's coming back after the OTRA meet

2) Share revenue from Xpressbet with horsemen

3) New forms of exotic wagering (assuming this is Stronach's idea about a wager that provides lottery-type payouts)
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Old 08-18-2010, 11:07 PM   #13
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Good dirt or bad dirt

If they go back to dirt I hope they put in a good track such as the track that Monmouth put in for the Breeders Cup. Monmouth used to look like a highway with hardly any kickback and was ridiculously speed favoring. Now it's more of a sustained surface where horses have to have class to win.

The dirt track at Santa Anita was not a good track, it was too hard and fast and cheap speed held on all the time going two turns. In sprints, the rail hardly ever won because the jockeys all busted out of the gate whipping and slashing because of the speed bias and the rail horse got crushed. I saw many two year olds making their first start draw an inside post and get scorched to a 21 and change first quarter, insane.
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Old 08-18-2010, 11:18 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pandy
If they go back to dirt I hope they put in a good track .
Track guy who is super sharp and knows SA very well told me it would be minimum $5 million, and if they really wanted to do it right, close to $10 million to rip out that crap and put in a top to bottom wonderful dirt track.

I heard they want, or are prepared, to spend $3 million tops.

So don't expect much.
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Old 08-18-2010, 11:20 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InsideThePylons-MW
Track guy who is super sharp and knows SA very well told me it would be minimum $5 million, and if they really wanted to do it right, close to $10 million to rip out that crap and put in a top to bottom wonderful dirt track.

I heard they want, or are prepared, to spend $3 million tops.

So don't expect much.
The CHRB should pay the rest. Actually, 100% of the cost.
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