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Santa Anita cancels weekend races due to expected rain

Due to the inclement weather conditions forecast for the region through this weekend, Santa Anita Park on Wednesday announced the cancellation of racing on Saturday and Sunday before entries were taken for either day. The track had already canceled its Friday racing card, a makeup day that was not on the original calendar.

Blizzard warnings have been issued for the San Gabriel Mountains behind the historic track, with snowfall expected at the 1,000-foot level. It is the first blizzard warning ever issued in Los Angeles County. Per some forecasts, the storm, expected to begin late Thursday morning, could drop six inches of rain through Saturday.

The decision to cancel both days out of an abundance of caution was made in consultation with industry stakeholders, including the Thoroughbred Owners of California, the California Thoroughbred Trainers Association, and the California Horse Racing Board.

In the judgment of the stakeholders, because the track will have been closed for training for at least two days because of the storm, the races were called off through the weekend to prioritize the safety of the competitors. California tracks are discouraged from racing in severe weather, following policies enacted by the CHRB in late 2020.

The main track and training track training schedule will be announced daily and open for training as weather permits.

With this weekend’s cancellations, Santa Anita will have lost six days of racing because of rain since the start of the winter-spring meeting on Dec. 26. The track canceled racing on Jan. 1, 14, and 16 because of excessive rain.

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The Daily Racing Form reported on Wednesday that Santa Anita would add a day of racing on March 9, and offer additional races March 3-5. Due to the weekend cancellation, the Santa Ysabel Stakes, a Grade III prep race on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks, will now be rescheduled for March 5, as will the ungraded Baffle Stakes, Santa Anita director of racing/racing secretary Jason Egan told the Daily Racing Form.

The Grade II Santa Anita Oaks will now also move from April 1 to April 8 to place it five weeks after the Santa Ysabel, Egan told the Daily Racing Form.

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