Hollywood Park, Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita break wasn’t thought through

If case you didn’t realize it, Santa Anita won’t race again until Saturday and Sunday.

On top of that, it won’t race next week until Friday.

Say what?

As one Santa Anita executive explained to me, the track was concerned about its horse inventory since it took over most of Hollywood Park’s dates after the demise of the Inglewood track. Perfectly understandable. Santa Anita began asking Northern California horsemen to send entries south to Arcadia a couple of months ago if they thought they would be competitive and it has shown in the entries.

Here’s my problem with Santa Anita’s current hiatus: the winter/spring meet will end THIS Sunday with mandatory payouts in wagers like the Pick Six and the “new” spring/summer meet will begin on April 25.

If Santa Anita was truly concerned about filling races at this time of the year, and in the next two months, it would have ended the traditional meet LAST Sunday and given the sport an 11-day break.

Yes, I know the sport is year-round, but an extended break would have allowed for some mini-vacations for some backstretch workers and given the horses some needed days off. It also would have allowed gamblers to build up bankrolls.

It also would have given the Santa Anita turf course a break. It would have given it time for some rejuvenation and maybe a little extra water.

But God forbid, we take a weekend off when we could be making some money, sport be damned.

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