June 29th saw the completion of a new turf course installation at Santa Anita Park that will be ready for use at their fall meet beginning on September 30th. When you factor in the the hillside component, the turf course at Santa Anita covers exactly nice acres of surfaced area. The Bandera Bermuda turf mixture used on the track was grown 120 miles east of Santa Anita in La Quinta, California.
“This has been a major undertaking and we’re very pleased with how the entire project has progressed,” said Senior Vice President of West Coast operations for The Stronach Group Joe Morris. “The hillside portion of the course was completed about three weeks ago and the oval was finished late yesterday. This particular turf has proven very resilient in our immediate area and right now, with the warm temperatures we’ve been experiencing, conditions are optimal for fast growth.
“The hillside has already begun to root, so that’s great news. About 40% of our races are run on grass, so this project is obviously a huge priority for us, our customers and horsemen.
“We’ve been told that we’d be able to run on it in 45 days, but with the installation completed on time, we’ll have 90 days before we have horses competing on it. We’re excited about opening day on Sept. 30 and we’re looking forward to welcoming the best horses in the world here for the Breeders’ Cup in November.”
Santa Anita is currently in the midst of a 40-day track meet which will end on July 10th.