Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Santa Anita Will Add Australian Pro-Ride Binder Fibers to Cushion Track Footing on Main Track

(edited from text provided by Santa Anita)

ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 15, 2008)—Santa Anita Park officials announced today that its troubled synthetic "Cushion Track" racing surface in southern California will be reformulated under the auspices of the Australian company Pro-Ride by adding binder fibers to the existing surface mix.

“Tests show that we’ve found a way to reformulate the existing Cushion Track surface,” said Santa Anita President Ron Charles. “With the addition of polymers and fiber, the surface becomes kinder, more consistent and it cushions the impact of the track on the horses. It functions properly in diverse weather conditions and reduces the amount of kickback,” he added.

Pro-Ride will introduce their patented polymer binders into the existing Cushion Track. “We’ve made this choice based upon the results of scientific testing and the reaction of the horsemen to whom we’ve shown the final product,” said Charles. “The addition of the Pro-Ride polymer and fiber effectively transforms the existing Cushion Track into the synthetic surface we wanted from the start.

“We are now in the process of developing a timeline for acquiring the necessary polymer and fiber,” Charles said. “It is estimated that it will take 10 to 12 days to produce the binder. The material will be mixed into the track surface without having to remove or displace the track. It is our intent to schedule the application so as to minimize any disruption to training or racing,” he added.

Santa Anita’s winter/spring meeting runs through April 20.

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