Today's live racing at Santa Anita was canceled because work on the troubled synthetic track has not been completed, but there finally was some good news.
Shortly after the cancellation was announced Thursday came the word that, as expected, Santa Anita will be the site of the 2009 Breeders' Cup, making the Arcadia track the first to host the marquee event in back-to-back years.
This year's Breeders' Cup will be run Oct. 24-25 during the Oak Tree meet.
Next year's Breeders' Cup, which will be the fifth hosted by the Oak Tree Racing Assn., will be held Nov. 6-7.
Del Mar is among the sites being considered for the 2010 Breeders' Cup.
In citing the reasons why Santa Anita appealed to the 13-member Breeders' Cup board that made the 2009 site selection, Sherwood "Chilli" Chillingworth, Oak Tree's executive director, said: "One, the weather. Two, they think Santa Anita is the prettiest track in the country. People like coming to Los Angeles. And we have experienced management."
Of holding back-to-back Breeders' Cups at the same site, Chillingworth said there are a number of advantages.
"It was their idea, not ours," he said. "They believe they can spread the marketing budget more effectively over two years. And we're putting up temporary structures [extra seating, press accommodations] that we can leave up."
Meanwhile, today marks the 11th race day canceled during this meet, but this one will be made up next Wednesday. Normally, under a new format inaugurated for this meet, there is no racing on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Ron Charles, Santa Anita president, said: "We will definitely race on Saturday. The portions of the track that have been completed so far are as good as we expected.
"We have become increasingly encouraged that this new surface is going to be what we had hoped -- a good, consistent surface that we believe will drain properly."
The track will be open today for simulcast wagering only, with free general admission. First post Saturday is 12:30 p.m.