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  #1  
Old 01-05-2019, 05:09 PM
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jnunan4759 jnunan4759 is offline
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Default Mysterious Santa Anita question

If you watch a 6 1/2 F Turf (Hill) race at SA. You see a thin red and white striped pole just off the track to the right of the gate. It has a fairly large yellow hoop on top. It's at least 15 feet tall. I've asked a lot of people there and never got an answer beyond speculation. It must serve a purpose because it always looks painted and maintained.

Any answers ?
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  #2  
Old 01-05-2019, 07:10 PM
robfla robfla is offline
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more speculation: probably where they start timing the race?
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  #3  
Old 01-06-2019, 09:21 AM
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jnunan4759 jnunan4759 is offline
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Not sure, but that IS the thing I'm talking about.

TV does not give a good perspective on that course. They call it "The Hill" for a reason. Somebody there told me it's a 75 foot decent but I wouldn't be surprised if it's more.

They use part of that hill for two other turf distances, 1 1/4th and 1 1/8th. It is amazing to watch the crew manipulate the rails during the running of those races.
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  #4  
Old 01-08-2019, 10:58 PM
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ElPrado ElPrado is offline
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I think that is used when they set up races on the hill. You can see that the top of the frame of the gate is pretty much centered inside the ring.
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  #5  
Old 01-08-2019, 11:16 PM
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That is an interesting thought, but not sure. I actually was taken up there years ago for a race start. The gate barely fits there and there is only less than 10 feet behind.
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  #6  
Old 01-09-2019, 03:53 AM
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ElPrado ElPrado is offline
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It's pretty much a spot where they get the mid point of the gate to. If the box fits, they have it square and straight. There's likely a spotter on phone or radio at the booth or an office telling them it's right or it may be a computer. Knowing tracks, more likely a spotter. It's easy to see, directly under the "S" in Santa Anita.😀
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  #7  
Old 01-10-2019, 09:20 PM
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jnunan4759 jnunan4759 is offline
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Put out a probe or two. May take a bit but we'll get to the truth on this.
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  #8  
Old 01-10-2019, 10:44 PM
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Ok, I'll have an answer as soon as a friend checks her PM's.
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  #9  
Old 01-11-2019, 03:27 PM
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jnunan4759 jnunan4759 is offline
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OK. Talked to people at Santa Anita. Surprisingly, hardly anybody there knows what it is or what purpose it serves. Don from the Racing office did some digging for me and talked with other employees who believe, and were told it was originally used when they had a "flag man" up there.

The track, as it is now, opened in 1934 but it wasn't until 1940 that they obtained a magnetic starting gate. Most likely, races were all started by flag prior to that.

Since turf racing was of much less of an occurrence then compared to now, they might have continued with the flagman start on the Hill for many years thereafter. Also, it would be prohibitive to haul the gate up there for one race.

From what I was told, the flagman was positioned so, that when he raised the flag, it appeared to the grandstand in the yellow circle. When the red center disappeared from the yellow circle, the race was off.

It appears this is a historical artifact that most people aren't aware of. It seems to serve no purpose, but is yearly maintained and kept painted and looking good. If so, this is a great tradition and should be known.

Don said he'd call me if he gets any new info and great thanks to him.
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  #10  
Old 01-11-2019, 06:14 PM
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jnunan4759 jnunan4759 is offline
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Actually got an email from somebody else at Santa Anita who said it was the run-up pole for timing.

I'm more confused than ever now. Somebody has to know what that thing is.
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  #11  
Old 01-12-2019, 06:06 AM
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All of the above. 🤗
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  #12  
Old 01-12-2019, 06:16 AM
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The second guy named it. The first guy described it. They also used it like I said.
Multi purpose, that's why it's still used.
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  #13  
Old 01-12-2019, 09:22 AM
robfla robfla is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jnunan4759 View Post
Actually got an email from somebody else at Santa Anita who said it was the run-up pole for timing.

I'm more confused than ever now. Somebody has to know what that thing is.
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  #14  
Old 01-12-2019, 11:15 AM
Konk Konk is offline
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Paul Lo Duca put it there.
He practiced throwing through it between races!
Having it sent to Toga this spring.
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  #15  
Old 01-12-2019, 02:17 PM
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jnunan4759 jnunan4759 is offline
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Curt Larson sent me a tweet:

I asked Jon White once as he knows all about SA history & even he didn't know the significance. There has to be some kind of reason- Back when there was a cable across the finish line for turf races there was a hoop like that in the wire. Never found out what it signified.
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  #16  
Old 01-12-2019, 07:35 PM
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jnunan4759 jnunan4759 is offline
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Still have some probes out. I'm not so sure about any of it. I feel like Captain Ahab chasing the White Whale.

But it is kinda fun. And interesting.
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  #17  
Old 01-14-2019, 07:33 PM
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philcski philcski is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robfla View Post


more speculation: probably where they start timing the race?
I believe it's the 6.5F pole. At least that's the most common explanation I've heard.
__________________
please use generalizations and non-truths when arguing your side, thank you
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  #18  
Old 01-14-2019, 07:48 PM
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jnunan4759 jnunan4759 is offline
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Yes, I'll agree on that as ElPrado has mentioned. However, we have to keep in mind that timing is not always done from poles. They have "run-ups" and differing ways of timing races. They move those devices at times. Craig Milkowski is a big critic of the deviations of them.

Not sure the electric eye is near that pole, but it probably is.

That does not account for the hoop. It explains the pole. Which is fine. Not the hoop.

I reached out to Gary Young who has been around there for a very long time and he told me he doesn't know (but always wondered) and doesn't know anybody who knows.

Maybe we'll get an answer, maybe not.
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  #19  
Old 01-15-2019, 06:16 PM
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Also reached out to Gary Young. He said he doesn't know what it is, but like us, have always wondered.

This may be worse than the riddle of the Sphinx.

Somebody has to know.
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  #20  
Old 01-17-2019, 09:29 PM
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jnunan4759 jnunan4759 is offline
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Got another reply. Reached out to Mary Forney of the TOC who I was told knew a lot about Santa Anita, now and then. Here is her replay:

"That is the 16th pole. Makes it 6 and 1/2 furlongs to the wire. The reason they say “about” six and a half is that the gate placement doesn’t allow for our normal run-up distance before the timer kicks in. Not enough room up there to move the gate any farther back. The big yellow ring made it easy to see for hand timing."



Hmmm.
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