The number of catastrophic injuries on dirt tracks has gone up while the corresponding number on synthetic surfaces has gone down, according to a revision of a report first given at the March 17 Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit.
Delaware environmental secretary John Hughes has issued a Coastal Zone Act permit to Michael Dickinson's synthetic-surface company Tapeta Footings to operate a new manufacturing facility in New Castle, Del.
Experts from all avenues of the racing industry presented statistics and opinions on synthetic surfaces and Santa Anita track president Ron Charles said the track will replace its Cushion Track as a six-hour special meeting called by the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) concluded Feb. 20.
The Los Angeles media market and its attractiveness to sponsors played a key role in the decision by Breeders' Cup to tab Santa Anita Park as a host site for two consecutive years, Breeders' Cup president Greg Avioli said.
The Breeders' Cup World Championships will be held in 2009 at Santa Anita Park, the California racetrack that will serve as this year's host. It marks the first time the event will be held at the same host site two years in a row.
Waterford Stable's In Summation again showed his affinity for synthetic surfaces with a game and blazing victory in the $150,000 Palos Verdes Handicap (gr. II) for 4-year-olds and up at Santa Anita Park Jan. 21.
Santa Anita Park's renovation of its Cushion Track to improve drainage encountered further delays as rain threatened the Southern California area, but track president Ron Charles said Dec. 16 horses could be back training by Dec. 19.
Miss Macy Sue most likely stamped her ticket to the Breeders' Cup World Championships with a convincing victory in the Sept. 15 Presque Isle Downs Masters Stakes, centerpiece of the inaugural meet at the track near Erie, Pa.
Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino won't be compelled to install a synthetic racing surface, at least not in the immediate future. But the Iowa track's dirt surface could be the topic of future discussion.
Martin Collins, creator of the Polytrack artificial surface, said the surface has encountered some problems in North America, but it's still much better than American dirt tracks, which tend to be inconsistent.
Hollywood Park planned to conduct a full card of racing on its Cushion Track Sunday, one day after jockeys complained late in the day about "waves," or clumps of synthetic material, that a track official said were caused by problems with the equipment used to maintain the new surface.
Members of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority racing team, as well as two trainers, visited Tapeta Farm in Maryland recently to review a synthetic racing surface with the inventor of Tapeta, trainer Michael Dickinson.
Hollywood Park, which will debut its Cushion Track for racing when its fall meet begins Nov. 1, is expecting some out-of-town trainers to send horses after the Nov. 4 Breeders' Cup World Championships at Churchill Downs.
Keeneland officials held a press briefing Thursday morning to unveil its new Polytrack surface and to also showcase several other improvements that have been made for the fall meeting that gets underway Oct. 6.
Racing surface projects continued Aug. 24 at two Kentucky tracks, with a new mix of materials being placed on top of the Polytrack at Turfway Park, and construction crews laying the asphalt layer for the new Polytrack that will debut at Keeneland in October.
A fledgling group of owners and breeders in New York has launched a new effort to study a variety of issues affecting the safety of Thoroughbred horses, including whether some of the state's racetracks should install alternative racing surfaces.