Del Mar's change from a synthetic surface to dirt on its main track is nearly complete, with horses expected to train on it starting in mid-May.
Santa Anita's track maintenance team plans to adjust the composition of the main track Jan. 18 to bring it back to the mix of sand, clay, and silt that it was before the region received several rainstorms in late December.
There has been one racing fatality following a breakdown in the first eight days of competition on Santa Anita Park's new dirt track, according to the California Horse Racing Board equine medical director.
Despite being pounded by rain for a fourth consecutive day, Santa Anita's new natural dirt main track opened for training with sunshine and partly cloudy skies on the morning of Dec. 23.
The Oak Tree Racing Association appears to be on the move once again after horsemen refused to go along with holding the fall meeting at Santa Anita over concerns with the main track's condition.
Del Mar canceled training on its main track the morning of July 22 when it was determined that there had been some separation of its Polytrack materials in the stretch area causing some inconsistencies in the surface makeup.
As people rush to takes sides in the great dirt-versus-synthetic surface debate, Dr. Mick Peterson and Santa Anita Park track superintendent Richard Tedesco suggested consistency and maintenance trump type of surface.
Veteran track maintenance specialist Richard Tedesco has taken the reins as track superintendent at Del Mar in anticipation of the 2010 racing season, Del Mar Thoroughbred Club has announced.
With the racing industry being scrutinized in the area of track safety, the seventh annual Track Superintendent Field Day conference at Keeneland June 2-3 seemed an especially timely opportunity for questions to be answered by synthetic-track maintenance professionals from around the country.
The drainage problems of Santa Anita's Cushion Track coupled with two inches of hail that fell at 5 a.m. Jan. 24 has put the West Coast half of Sunshine Millions in serious doubt, according to track president Ron Charles. Santa Anita had to cancel its Jan. 24 card.
Santa Anita Park announced July 23 that Richard Tedesco has been hired as track maintenance superintendent.
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