Defections of Del Mar and Keeneland back to dirt have stalled synthetic surfaces in the U.S.
- By Tom LaMarra
Catastrophic injuries in racing dropped, field size increased, and wagering reached record levels. read blog
Removal of Santa Anita's synthetic surface began Oct. 11 as the first step in replacing it with a dirt surface. Track officials are close to deciding the mix of materials to be used as the surface material.
Dan Liebman addresses Santa Anita's decision to remove its synthetic surface and replace it with dirt. Read Blog
Since a rash of five horse breakdowns in the opening five days of racing at the current Santa Anita meet -- resulting in four fatalities -- there has been just one race-related death since Dec. 31, Dr. Rick Arthur told the California Horse Racing Board.
At a meeting Jan. 7 at Santa Anita Park, about 40 trainers met to discuss problems with the track's Pro-Ride synthetic surface.
Cushion Track and related defendants have filed a counterclaim against the Los Angeles Turf Club and its general counsel in the lawsuit over the troubled former synthetic surface at Santa Anita Park, asking a California federal court to award it at least $1.3 million in damages.
Talk about a hair-trigger decision. Following Curlin's victory in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I), majority owner Jess Jackson said over he phone that the colt likely would ship to Santa Anita "in about a week" to test out the Pro-Ride surface. The next morning, Curlin was on a plane to California.
Five grade I races at Oak Tree the weekend of Sept. 27-28 gave the Pro-Ride synthetic surface recently installed at Santa Anita a workout.
Several horses were out galloping on the renovated Santa Anita track surface Aug. 31. Training stables are just starting to ship in from Del Mar.
Large piles of material dot Santa Anita's backside parking lot, as work continues on the overhaul of the track's synthetic surface. Repairs to the drainage system are expected to be finished soon, with the next step being the placement of the base grit layer, according to Ian Pearse, founder and president of Pro-Ride Racing Australia.
The second Elastikon Equine Research Award, funded through a grant made by Johnson & Johnson Consumer Products Co. to the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation, has been awarded to Dr. Wayne McIlwraith of Colorado State University and Dr. Mick Peterson of the University of Maine for their research designed to enhance the safety of racetracks for horses.
The operator of Santa Anita Park has filed a federal lawsuit against the original supplier of its troubled synthetic racing surface, claiming it has suffered at least $8.4 million in damages from improper installation and repair.
Now that the Santa Anita winter meeting has ended, work can begin in earnest on the choice of main-track surface. Following a comprehensive series of tests on the current main track, a decision is probable sometime in May, Santa Anita president Ron Charles said April 22.
By Bill Casner - "No Good Deed Goes Unpunished" -- No one understands this better than Mr. Richard Shapiro and his fellow California Horse Racing Board members in the wake of the problems with Cushion Track at Santa Anita.
Perhaps no other sport is as bound to tradition as racing Thoroughbreds. From the sheer length of its history, to the grand old venues in which it takes place, to the top-hatted and red-suited bugler calling the horses to post, racing loves its time-honored habits.
- By Dan Liebman
By - Dan Liebman - In 2007, at least one Thoroughbred flat race was run at 129 different racetracks in North America (another 24 ran steeplechase races only). Of those racetracks, nine now have a synthetic track surface.
Santa Anita racetrack will unveil racing over the Cushion Track surface Sept. 26 when the Oak Tree Racing Association begins its 39th season.
Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. announced June 29 that it will convert its training track from dirt to the all-weather surface Safetrack.
Environmental concerns could cause a delay in plans by Golden Gate Fields to install an all-weather racing surface this summer, the planning manager for the City of Albany, Calif., acknowledged May 16.
Equibase announced March 6 that all-weather surface summaries reflecting each starter's career record and earnings on all-weather (synthetic) racing surfaces are now available for inclusion in live and simulcast race programs.
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