Anne M. Eberhardt

Hollywood Park's Cushion Track Renovated

Track was first in Southern California to install synthetic surface.

(Edited Hollywood Park release)

Hollywood Park, capitalizing on the first summer break in training since Cushion Track was installed in 2006, is renovating the synthetic surface with training scheduled to resume at the Track of Lakes and Flowers in early September.

Removal of the nine-inch top layer began following the end of the spring/summer meet in July to permit the washing of the membrane, the geotextile cover which separates the porous base from the top layer.

"We’re taking the material off all the way down to the membrane," track superintendent Dennis Moore said. "We are pressure-washing the membrane to clean it all off. It has been down now for three years. We want the membrane cleaned to make sure it is free to drain.

"We will mix the material to where we will have the fresher material mixed back into the top — there was a lot of fresh material right over the membrane," Moore added. "Then we will put everything back down. It will make quite a bit of difference — add much more life to the track."

Removal and cleaning of the membrane on the inside 40 feet of the track was completed in early August with workers shifting their attention to the outside of the oval.

"I’m hoping to be done by the first of September, maybe a little sooner," Moore said. "Horses are due back September third and begin training the next day."

Cushion Track consists of synthetic fiber, elastic fiber and granulated rubber — all coated with wax and mixed with silica.

Hollywood Park became the first Southern California track to install a synthetic surface. Cushion Track opened for training Sept. 13, 2006, with the first race on Nov. 1, 2006.

The 2009 Autumn Meet will be the seventh conducted on Cushion Track. Live racing is scheduled to begin Nov. 13 and conclude Sunday, Dec. 20, pending approval of the California Horse Racing Board.