Santa Anita’s Friday All-dirt Card Draws 8.5 Starters per Race

January 2, 2023

Santa Anita Stable Notes

ARCADIA, Calif.— With more rain in the forecast for Arcadia this week, the decision was made to run Friday’s eight-race program exclusively on dirt. After entries were taken and the program finalized yesterday, track officials could not be more pleased with the results.

A total of 68 horses were entered on the card, which is dominated by maiden and claiming-level races, providing bettors with a healthy average field size of 8.5 starters per race. First post Friday is 12 p.m. Pacific.

“I was really happy with how the card came out,” Santa Anita Director of Racing Chris Merz said. “To have an average field size over eight for an all-dirt card is absolutely fantastic. Our trainers were really game to run and the racing office was really motivated to get a card out after (Sunday’s) cancellation, so everyone is happy with how it turned out.

A similar all-dirt card was scheduled for Sunday at Santa Anita, but it was canceled after the main track was saturated with rain overnight Saturday. Sunday’s scheduled feature, the Grade III, $200,000 Santa Ynez for 3-year-old fillies at seven furlongs on the main track, was moved to this Sunday.

The National Weather Service forecasts a half an inch of rain on Wednesday and possibly over an inch this Thursday before the weather clears. Merz is confident there will be no interruption to Friday’s card.

“It’s looking like the heavier rain is going to start late Wednesday and into Thursday,” Merz said. “But the track will be sealed and we should be able to roll on Friday.”

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