Citing the success of its Polytrack surface, Turfway Park announced Friday it will keep its stable area and track open for training during its off seasons. The track plans to make summer stabling available beginning April 24 and continuing through the summer until the fall meet begins Sept. 6. "Making our facility available to area horsemen throughout the summer is another important benefit of our Polytrack installation. Not having to remove the surface between race meets allows us to provide horsemen a consistent, safe training surface year round," said Robert Elliston, Turfway Park president and CEO. Through February, only one training day has been lost since the Polytrack surface was opened for use in August 2005. That occurred in December, when Turfway‚s track crew spent what would have been training hours removing six inches of snow from the surface. The race card scheduled for that evening was held as planned. By contrast, Turfway lost 16 days of training to weather-related causes from September 2004 through February 2005. The track also canceled all or part of 11 racing days last winter, most often because the track was rendered unsafe by freezing and thawing of the old dirt surface.
From September 2005 through last month, only three horses have suffered life-ending injuries on the track, all during races. Last year, that number was 20 over the same time period. No horses have suffered such injuries during training. The deadline to apply for stalls during the summer training session at the northern Kentucky track is March 15.