A Thoroughbred Operation
WHEN ZENYATTA shot from the back of the pack to the lead in the final stretch to claim her 13th straight win in last month's Lady's Secret Stakes, the thousands of fans in the stands at Santa Anita Park, in Arcadia, Calif., weren't the only ones cheering. Underneath the grandstand, with the sound of a Goss Community web press churning away behind them, the crew of Santa Anita's in-plant was crowded around a TV monitor, watching the $300,000, nail-biter of a race unfold.
"It's part of being here," explains Candace Coder-Chew, director of Santa Anita's 20-employee Print & Graphics operation, located 14 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles. Besides, she adds, a two-minute break isn't much to ask when the shop is busy printing and stitching up to 60,000 race programs a day, working at a pace nearly as fast as the one on the track outside.
Each day of the racing season, the in-plant must produce all 72 to 96 pages of the next day's program and have it on the sellers' stands by 3:30 p.m., so that eager betters can grab copies before they leave the track.
"It's a very quick industry," Coder-Chew says. The need for such fast turnaround is one of the main reasons a prominent racetrack like Santa Anita Park, owned by Magna Entertainment Corp., operates an in-plant. And though other tracks have some digital printing equipment, Santa Anita is unique for having full web and sheetfed printing capabilities.
Two In-plants in One
The park actually operates two separate print shops beneath its stands. One has a three-unit Goss Community web press—which is used to print the programs—along with assorted plate-making, folding and stitching equipment. The other shop—about a half mile away, but still below the stands—runs a six-color Komori L628 and a two-color Ryobi 3302, plus folders, stitchers, cutters and other bindery equipment. Both shops are overseen by Print Shop Manager Andy Didier.
Bob has served as editor of In-plant Impressions since October of 1994. Prior to that he served for three years as managing editor of Printing Impressions, a commercial printing publication. Mr. Neubauer is very active in the U.S. in-plant industry. He attends all the major in-plant conferences and has visited nearly 170 in-plant operations around the world. He has given presentations to numerous in-plant groups in the U.S., Canada and Australia, including the Association of College and University Printers and the In-plant Printing and Mailing Association. He also coordinates the annual In-Print contest, cosponsored by IPMA and In-plant Impressions.