Monday, September 29, 2008

Receiving Barn is Rich in History and Tradition

Santa Anita's receiving barn, also known as the "Round Barn," truly is rich in history and tradition, having been around since the track opened in 1934. It's where all of the racehorses, from maidens to champions, pass through on their way to the races, to receive pre-race testing.

I found an old article from TIME magazine, from December 24, 1934, about the opening day at Santa Anita, which read in part: "At Arcadia, Calif., the newest and most elaborate racetrack in the U.S., Santa Anita Park, will open for a 53-day meet on Christmas Day. In the feature race of the meet, the Santa Anita Handicap, a dozen of the most famed horses in the world, including Equipoise, Twenty Grand, Mate, Cavalcade, Statesman and Head Play, will run for the biggest purse ($100,000 added) offered this year."

The article also mentioned the Receiving Barn: "Before each race, all the horses entered will visit a special circular 'receiving barn,' from which owners and handlers are excluded and in which officials will make sure the animals are not doped." ("Doped?!" Well, remember it was an era just following Prohibition and the crime sprees of gangsters like Al Capone!)

More history, and an inside photo of the Receiving Barn, to come!

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