ARCADIA (CBSLA) — Santa Anita Park will push the opening day of its autumn season to Sept. 25 due to conditions caused by the Bobcat Fire.
The racetrack remains closed to the public because of the coronavirus pandemic, but live racing was scheduled to start up again on Sept. 19. But with the Bobcat Fire still burning in the Angeles National Forest above Arcadia, Opening Day has been postponed.
“Our local community has been deeply impacted by the Bobcat Fire burning for more than a week in the mountains behind us,” Aidan Butler, executive director of California operations for The Stronach Group – which owns Santa Anita Park – said in a statement. “The current weather pattern has kept the smoke in the valley and the air quality is quite poor right now.”
Santa Anita is also being used as a Red Cross evacuation zone for the community, which includes many of the park’s horsemen, Butler said.
Smoke from the wildfires and the terrible air quality have also impacted training schedules, so the park will fill extra races throughout the meet to give horsemen the opportunity to run their horses. according to Steve Lym, Santa Anita’s VP Racing & Racing Secretary.
Entries for Opening Day, Sept. 25, will be drawn on Sunday Sept. 20, as scheduled, park officials said.