Roy Smith New Track Superintendent at Indiana

Roy Smith New Track Superintendent at Indiana
Photo: Indiana Grand Racing & Casino
Roy Smith

Roy Smith has taken over as racetrack superintendent at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino in Shelbyville after spending the past 30 years in that capacity at Philadelphia Park/Parx Racing, it was announced Aug. 7.

The Massachusetts native has nearly 40 years experience in track maintenance. His father, Bruce Smith, was a successful trainer for four decades in New England with more than 2,700 wins.

Smith, who arrived at the Indiana track two weeks ago, comes from a track that races year round. He sees a refreshing change in his relocation to Indiana. For the first time in his 30-plus career, he is not working on Sundays and is just focused on maintaining and preparing the track surface.

"It's been nothing but positive and a great experience since I arrived at Indiana Grand," said Smith. "Everyone is more than nice and friendly. It is definitely a slower pace, but it is a good change. It's nice to have a shorter meet. It's a new chapter in my book."

Smith was integral in the formation of the first meeting nationally of racetrack superintendents, held at Philadelphia in 2001. Now in its 13th season, the conference attracts superintendents from all over the world. This year's event, featuring foremost track expert Dr. Mick Peterson of the University of Maine, is Aug. 24-26 at Tampa Bay Downs.

Smith said he has no plans for abrupt changes at Indiana Grand.

"After the meet is over, we'll take a look at some things, but for right now, we'll just do some slight adjustments," said Smith. "The main thing is to have a surface that is consistent, and I'm still observing racing from different angles. I'll get into a routine eventually. I'm still seeing how everything operates and getting to know the people and trying to learn the system."

He noted that although he maintained both the turf and dirt tracks at Parx Racing, the grass used at Parx was fescue. The grass at Indiana Grand is Bluegrass, but he says in the end, it's all grass, so he isn't concerned about the difference. 

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