JC / Railbird

Back to the Future

Circling Back

Jay Hovdey on Santa Anita’s return to dirt:

So it is ahead to the past — sealed tracks and cracked feet, burned heels and rundowns, strung-out fields shying from sandy kickback — a past in which the inability to deal with the effects of dirt tracks inspired the desperate dive into synthetics in the first place. As usual it will be up to the horses, always the horses, to survive this latest shift in the terrain.

There’s been speculation that, with the new surface, old-fashioned California super speed will make a comeback, but Thoroughbred Times reporter Jeff Lowe tweeted late Friday that, “Baffert said it’s closer to Churchill surface than anything he’s seen in Calif,” which suggests not.