Aside from just being the day after Christmas, the 26th of December is also opening day for the winter and spring horse-racing season at Santa Anita Park.
Opening day of Santa Anita is one of the handful of really big days in Southern California horse racing. Santa Anita is probably the track that Southern California racing fans look forward to seeing the most. It’s beautiful, it’s historic… the traditional day after Christmas opener is something you can always count on.
The park opened Monday despite declining participation in horse racing and one of the worst wind storms to hit Arcadia in decades, said Mike Willmen, the director of publicity at Santa Anita Park.
The park lost lots of trees, had portions of the roof torn off its stables, and suffered other structural damages, Willmen said. He said the park is still in the process of making repairs, but that most of the work has come together in time for the start of the season.
"We’re ready, we’re open, we’re less a few trees, and the area is just about back to normal," Willmen said.
This year’s race kicks off the race track’s seventy-fifth season. Races are held Thursday through Sunday and most Mondays.