Highly respected track man Dennis Moore will begin extensive testing and a thorough review of the one-mile main track at Santa Anita today.
Moore and Dr. Mick Peterson of the Racing Services Testing Lab will do additional testing of the track to ensure track consistency and uniformity for both training and racing. At the same time, Santa Anita is conducting a comprehensive evaluation of all existing safety measures and current protocols.
“As horse lovers first and foremost, we are deeply saddened by the losses experienced over the past several weeks. The loss of just one horse is one too many. While we can’t prevent every injury, we can’t overemphasize that the health and welfare of the horses and jockeys is our top priority,” said Tim Ritvo, Chief Operating Officer, The Stronach Group, the owners of Santa Anita Park. “The track will be closed for live racing and training until our outside experts confirm the soundness of the track and let us know that it is safe to resume racing.
Moore has more than 46 years of experience working with racing surfaces in California and worldwide, served as Santa Anita Track Superintendent from 2014 until his retirement this past December. Currently employed as Track Superintendent at both Del Mar and Los Alamitos, Moore was chiefly responsible for providing Santa Anita with the “El Segundo sand” which was installed here to universal acclaim in 2014. The son of a track superintendent, Moore grew up in racing, and in addition to his father, Bob, his brother Ron has also served in the same role at various tracks in California.
The Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory has been a pioneer in creating a Maintenance Quality System, which utilizes both daily measurements and enhanced techniques and technologies to manage racing surfaces with a goal of creating a consistent and safer racing surface.
Officials at Santa Anita Park have been in constant communication with the California Horse Racing Board and key stakeholders who fully support our decision to close the track while we conduct additional testing of the track and review current protocols and existing safety measures. All horses who stable at Santa Anita will remain on site, and Santa Anita will remain open to the public for simulcast.