Santa Anita's opened its newly installed sand-and-clay track to training
for the first time on Monday, although with only 200 horses on the
grounds there was seldom more than 10 horses on the track at one time.
The horses who did test the new surface were mostly limited to jogging
on a surface that received approximately three-quarters of an inch of
The new surface received favorable reviews from exercise riders and trainers.
"I love it, and the horses love it more than me," said exercise rider
Goncalino Almeida, who works for trainer Carla Gaines. "For now, it
feels very good. It's got a nice cushion. They jog differently than the
last times at Del Mar, Hollywood Park, or here. They jog more
confidently, very smoothly."