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Santa Anita set to re-open Thursday

ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) Santa Anita will reopen for training and racing on Thursday after its main track was closed for evaluation in the wake of 19 horse deaths during the winter meeting.

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The track's dirt surface was peeled back 5 inches on Tuesday so its base could be thoroughly examined. The track has had 11+ inches of rain and unusually cold temperatures this month.

The track was closed for training on Monday and Tuesday so moisture content and soil consistency below the surface could be checked.

Santa Anita officials brought in Mick Peterson, a University of Kentucky track safety expert, to review the subsurface and surface data. He already evaluates soil samples from the track on a monthly basis.

Santa Anita has formed a committee of California Horse Racing Board commissioner Alex Solis, a veteran trainer and jockey and a member of the track's management team to evaluate the data and monitor feedback from trainers, jockeys and exercise riders.

There have been 19 fatalities during the current meeting that began Dec. 26 compared with seven last year. Last Saturday, Breeders' Cup winner Battle of Midway sustained a fatal injury during a workout.

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Mike Dempsey Mike covers the New York racing circuit (Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga) year-round as well as covering the biggest events including the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes and the Breeders’ Cup.
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