Horse racetracks and training tracks require constant maintenance to ensure proper operation and avoid accidents. There are many benefits that artificial synthetic surfaces can bring to horse racetracks. One of the most important advantages of such surfaces is the handling when it comes to different weather conditions such as rain.
As reported by the Associated Press, the thoroughbred racetrack located in Arcadia, California, Santa Anita Park, will undergo extensive renovation. The price tag of the overhaul is set at $32 million and it comes amid an increase in visitations from trainers and horses. The improvements at Santa Anita involve the replacement of the training track’s dirt with a synthetic surface.
An estimate of $4.5 million is expected to be spent by the thoroughbred racetrack’s owner, The Stronach Group (TSG) for the installation of a Tapeta training track. This is the same type of surface that is used by the company’s primary racing track located at Golden Gate Fields.
Additionally, the planned improvements are expected to involve a new turf chute at Santa Anita. The price tag of the new turf chute is approximately $2.5 million with TSG confirming that the makeover will enable it to introduce new races with different distances.
The owner of Santa Anita confirmed that some $500,000 will be spent for the development of a state-of-the-art hydrotherapy equine pool. The company confirmed that money is expected to be spent over the next two years. Last but not least, TSG confirmed it plans to spend some $23.2 million for the improvement of barns at the racetrack’s stable area. Initially, the redevelopment will involve roof replacement.
Renovations Expected to Start Early in the Winter
The improvements at Santa Anita are expected to start once the Breeders’ Cup wraps up in November. The renovation is expected to be completed by the winter-spring meet that is set to start on December 26, 2023.
“We’re pretty confident that a synthetic track will work in California, but I believe a nice way of going about this is to put it in as a training option and not immediately create such a jarring environment that Santa Anita has more trouble than it currently does.“
Aidan Butler, chief operating officer of TSG’s 1/ST Racing
Aidan Butler, the chief operating officer of TSG’s 1/ST Racing, explained that replacing the track surface with synthetic materials will benefit horses from the north that are used to train on such surfaces. He added: “It will be hugely beneficial for Southern California and Santa Anita as a whole because of the inclement weather policies that really are tough out in California.” Finally, Butler said that the company is confident of the success the new synthetic track will bring.