(Edited Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. press release)
The Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company (OBS) Friday announced that it is converting its one-mile racetrack to an all-weather SAFETRACK surface. Manufactured by Andrews Bowen, Ltd., the new surface will be ready for the 2008 juvenile selling season.
OBS conducts four sales of 2-year-olds in training each year in Central Florida, with select sales in February and March and open sales in April and June. The track is also utilized for most of the rest of the year as a public training center, with many of the area’s horsemen taking advantage of the facility. And there is one day of racing in February.
“Our paramount concern is for the welfare of the horses offered for sale,” said OBS president Tom Chiota. “We have long been committed to providing a safe facility, and an all-weather surface will be a significant investment toward achieving that goal. In addition to safety, the ability of SAFETRACK to handle rain will ultimately lead to a more consistent racetrack throughout the duration of the Under Tack Shows.”
The new surface will be in place by mid-November, well in advance of the February selected 2-year-old sale scheduled for Tuesday, February 12 and the OBS Championship Stakes card set for Monday, February 11.
Keeneland, which has Polytrack, earlier this year became the first auction firm in North America to conduct workouts for a sale of 2-year-olds in training over a synthetic surface. OBS will be the second.