Today is an exciting day at Santa Anita. It is the first day horses will be permittedto use the ‘new dirt main track’ since the renovation has been completed. They will be able to go on the main track to jog and gallop this morning for the first time. Such terrific news!
As many of you may have read, the dirt surface on the SA main track has been completely redone. A great deal of planning, organization, and scientific study goes into this process.
The man behind the scenes responsible for orchestrating this project is Ted Malloy. John and Dottie go over to Santa Anita at night to check on the horses John has stabled there. While doing so, they take SOPHIE for a little walk and go out and check the surface. My John has visited with Mr. Malloy countless times as this renovation has been taking place…even to riding around in the golf cart with him to inspect certain sections of the track.
To explain the track renovation process “very simply”, all of the work needs to be accomplished in stages. It starts with detailed research concerning the types of materials needed…and then purchasing them. Once all of the ingredients are on-site, the crew can start work on the actual ‘track’. The old surface needs to be removed. The track is taken down to the ‘base’ and inspected along with the drainage systems etc.
The next step involves mixing the materials together to create the ‘cushion’. This ‘cushion’ is then put on the base of the track. It is approximately 6 inches of material. Part of this is a bit more compressed and becomes the PAD for the track. The remaining portion which is about 3 1/2 inches deep is the more ‘fluffy’ part of the surface. This is what you actually see when you are looking at the track.
Normal scheduled maintenance is required using harrowing and water to keep the 3 1/2 inch ‘fluffy’ part of the cushion ‘consistent’….all the way around the entire oval.
Needless to say, CONSISTENCY is extremely important! This is so significant for the horses, of course, but also for those who enjoy handicapping our sport!
Thank you so much, MR. MALLOY, for adding your great knowledge and experience to our Santa Anita dirt track!
Hugs to All~