ARCADIA, CALIF — ARCADIA, Calif. -- Fires in the Los Angeles area have been restricted to the Malibu beach community about 50 miles west of Santa Anita Park and will not affect the Breeders' Cup.
Last week, one of the San Gabriel mountains within site of the track was on fire and racing was canceled at Santa Anita on Thursday after the track became shrouded in smoke.
But that fire was put out and the air is clear now except for the usual amount of smog.
Bill Christine, who covers racing for the Los Angeles Times, said when he walked out of a Santa Anita conference room last week, "The smoke was so pungent that I thought the track could have been on fire."
The next day, when racing was cancelled, exercise riders wore masks when they rode in the morning. Trainer Bobby Frankel shipped three of his horses across town to Hollywood Park in Inglewood and worked them. One of them, Jolypha, who was intended to run in the Breeders' Cup Distaff, broke down that morning and was retired.
More for Bertrando
Even if favored Bertrando wins the Breeders' Cup Classic, co-owner and breeder Ed Nahem plans to race him next year.
"As long as he's sound, I think so," Nahem said. "He's one of the superstars of the game and why not give the racing fans another year."