Santa Anita Head Scratcher

I’m not closely following all the hootin’ and hollerin’ going on about Santa Anita too closely. However, I will say that I’m not a fan of takeout hikes in general, but perusing the weekend cards for the past two weeks has uncovered something odd, at least to me. Both weekends saw very similar races in the same division carded both days of the weekend.

Last weekend in the handicap division:

Saturday 2/5: Strub Stakes – 9F G2 $200,000 (7 entrants)

Sunday 2/6: San Antonio Stakes – 9F G2 $150,00 (6 entrants)

This weekend in the distaff division:

Saturday 2/12: Santa Maria Stakes – 8.5F G2 $150,000 (5 entries)

Sunday 2/13: La Canada Stakes – 9F G2 $150,000 (4 entries)

In each instance both races are carded on the same surface with little or no difference in distance. The handicap division had slightly better turn out but could have easily been one race with 13 entries. This weekend’s distaff races are far more glaring with only five entries in the Santa Maria and four in the La Canada (after scratches).

I suspect that owners and horseman prefer it this way, but is it in the best interest of racing in California with sinking handle? I honestly don’t know, but am guessing some of you might have an opinion or two!

Update: apparently not re: an opinion!