Warren Williamson was voted owner of the year, and his racemare Nashoba's Key was chosen horse of the year, in the Thoroughbred of California's annual owner awards selection.
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.
Golden Gate Fields experienced an increase in all-sources handle and a decrease in catastrophic injuries during its first meet with a synthetic surface.
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.
Synthetic material that includes a liquid binder will be added to Santa Anita Park's main surface in an effort to improve drainage, the Southern California racetrack announced Jan. 15.
Horses are expected to return to training on the main Santa Anita Park racing surface Dec. 22 following a renovation of the Cushion Track to fix a drainage problem.
Rain has further delayed renovation of the Cushion Track at Santa Anita Park.
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.
Santa Anita Park, currently open for training only, will close its main track Dec. 3-10 to examine its new Cushion Track surface due to problems with drainage.
The Breeders' Cup board of directors will discuss international participation in the World Championships, new races, and potential host sites for 2009 during its Dec. 7 meeting.
Ocala Breeders' Sale Co., which recently completed the conversion of its one-mile dirt racetrack to an all-weather SAFETRACK surface, had its first horses work over the new track Nov. 16.
Jim Bolger, one of the leading trainers in Ireland, is reported as saying a dirt surface should never again be used for the Breeders' Cup World Championships.
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.
By Tanya Gunther - It is impossible to put my head in the sand and ignore the demise of dirt racing's dramatic impact on the sport.
Opening night, Sept. 5, will mark the two-year anniversary of the debut of Polytrack at Turfway Park, officials of which continue to collect data on a daily basis to learn more about the surface.
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.
Presque Isle Downs, returning racing to the Erie area for the first time in 20 years, is the first American racetrack to use Tapeta Footings' unique artificial material for its track surface.
- By Tom LaMarra
The first race of the inaugural meet at Presque Isle Downs may very well tell the tale: There is lots of money up for grabs, and horses are coming from all over the place.
Santa Anita Park, which has been closed for training and under major construction since July 5, will unveil its new Cushion Track surface for training on Sept. 4.
The California Horse Racing Board has approved a one-year conditional waiver from the state mandate for synthetic surfaces for Bay Meadows.
Presque Isle Downs, the new Erie, Pa., track owned by MTR Gaming Group, will install Michael Dickinson's synthetic Tapeta racing surface before its inaugural Thoroughbred meet begins Sept. 1.
Early visitors to the stable area at Churchill Downs received a rare treat Sunday morning when Street Sense jogged a mile one day after winning the Kentucky Derby.
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.
Presque Isle Downs, the new Erie, Pa.-area racetrack that plans to open Sept. 1 for its inaugural Thoroughbred meet, will have a synthetic surface.
Woodbine in Canada will employ a two-step process beginning in May in an attempt to improve the Polytrack surface it installed last summer.
Arlington Park is in the final phase of installing an $11-million Polytrack surface that will debut when live racing begins May 4.
Turfway Park will begin distributing simulcast signals from racetracks in Great Britain beginning March 31.
A commmittee that sprung from last year's Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit is calling for a ban of toe grabs with a height greater than four millimeters.
Though the evidence may be largely anecdotal, it appears swings in temperature can impact Polytrack and its consistency.
Arlington Park announced Feb. 6 it will install Polytrack for its meet that begins May 4.
The California Coastal Commission has approved plans by Del Mar to replace its dirt surface with a synthetic Polytrack, track officials said.
- By Ray Paulick
Ray Paulick - It's difficult to get away from talk of synthetic surfaces, whether it concerns racing in North America, Asia, Europe, or Dubai.
Empire Racing Associates, a finalist for New York's Thoroughbred racing franchise, on Nov. 27 released a plan addressing measures designed to improve racing and training safety.
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.
The new chief executive officer of Churchill Downs Inc. believes horse racing has an opportunity to move to another level if the industry embraces a new way of thinking.
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.
Cementing the 2007 racing schedule in the state remained the focus of the California Horse Racing Board Strategic Alliance Planning Committee, which met Sept. 19 for the third time.
The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club gained unanimous approval Sept. 12 to install an $8 million synthetic surface from the board of directors of the agricultural district that oversees the seaside track.
From a distance, it looks like dirt--a little on the tan side. Up close, it looks like fake dirt. But it's really just modified Polytrack, complete with Spandex, cabling material, and more sand.
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.
The California Horse Racing Board is studying ways to promote the health of racehorses and reduce on-track injuries, as well as implement a plan for out-of-competition testing.
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.
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