Del Mar Racing

Del Mar Racing

Benoit Photo

Del Mar Makes Adjustment to Slow Polytrack

Track adds new wax to surface; there have been five track records set recently.

In hopes of slowing the track down a little, Del Mar added some wax to its Polytrack synthetic racing surface July 29 for the first time this year, track spokesman C.P. (Mac) McBride said.

"We want to slow it down just a tad," McBride said July 30, acknowledging that race and workout times have been too quick. He said adding a light amount of wax to the top layer would "bind and seal things a little bit more," having the effect of slowing things down.

It would also cut down on the amount of kick-back the track experienced during the first two weeks of the summer meet, McBride said.

The newly waxed track had its first usage during the July 30 card.

Del Mar had five track marks set over the three-day weekend July 25-27.

The barrage started with the the Cougar II Stakes (gr. III) on the night of July 25 when Irish Surf  was clocked in 2:29.01 for 1 1/2 miles. On July 26, the record was lowered for one mile by Big Cazanova, in 1:34.74 in an allowance race, and for 1 1/16 miles by Fed Biz  in the San Diego Handicap (gr. II), timed in 1:41 flat. The July 27 card saw marks fall at five furlongs by Desert Steel clocked in :56.76 in a maiden filly race, and Friendly Banter, who ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.03 in a claiming event.

McBride noted that the track marks for five furlongs, 1 1/8 miles, and 1 1/2 miles are soft due to the fact that they are distances not often contested on the main oval.

Del Mar plans to replace the Polytrack with a natural dirt surface early in 2015.

The July 30 card also saw a return to turf racing after a brief stoppage following four breakdowns on the newly installed course since the meeting began July 17. Officials took races off the turf July 27 to give groundsmen an extra day to work on the course. (Del Mar was dark July 28-29.)

McBride said workers aerated the entire course and also moved the temporary rail out to 18 feet to use a new portion of the surface, which was widened for use this year.

In three races on the turf Wednesday, there were no incidents.