Santa Anita Cuts Next Two Thursdays From Racing Schedule - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Santa Anita Cuts Next Two Thursdays From Racing Schedule

Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif.

Officials at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., have opted not to conduct live horse racing next Thursday, Feb. 6, as originally scheduled. It had previously been announced that racing would not be conducted as scheduled on Thursday, Feb. 13, and Thursday, Feb. 20 was not among the assigned dates for the meet. Thus racing will be conducted on a Friday through Sunday basis for the next three weeks.

Track officials are hoping the reduction in days will lead to larger field sizes.

The California Horse Racing Board gave Santa Anita 12 “flex dates” during the 104-day meet that runs through June 21, giving the track the option not to race on up to 12 of its assigned dates either because of weather that could compomise the safety of the racing surfaces or concerns over a shortage of horses. ┬áSo far, four of those 12 dates have been used.

According to Daily Racing Form, through the first 17 days of the meet, 148 races were run with an average field size of 7.56 runners. Twenty-one dates had been run during the same time frame during the 2018-19 meet, DRF reports, with an average 7.72 runners per race.

The Southern California Thoroughbred population has declined in the past year after a spike in fatalities led to a temporary shutdown at Santa Anita and more restrictive medication rules and safety protocols. A number of trainers opened divisions in the Midwest or East Coast, and Doug O'Neill sent a string to Dubai.

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