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.
Bolger never has been afraid to speak his mind, and the Racing Post newspaper in Great Britain on Oct. 29 quoted him paying tribute to George Washington, who was euthanized in the Oct. 27 Breeders’ Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I) at Monmouth Park after injuring his right front leg.
Bolger, who trains this year’s top 2-year-old in Europe, New Approach, then told the newspaper: “His legacy, apart from being a very exciting champion, will be that from now on Breeders’ Cups will only be run on Polytrack. The sooner they’re all Polytrack and they cut out the drugs, it will be a better competition.
“If they had Polytrack and turf tracks without the drugs, it would sort the men from the boys.”
The 2008 Breeders’ Cup is scheduled for Oak Tree at Santa Anita Part Oct. 24-25. The California racetrack installed Cushion Track, a synthetic surface, this summer at a cost of more than $10 million.
Cushion Track is comprised of silica sand mixed with synthetic fibers, elastic fiber, and shredded rubber. The material is coated with a blend of wax.
After this year’s Breeders’ Cup, run on a sloppy dirt surface, officials said they were pleased with the way the Monmouth surface performed given about three inches of rain in three days. There were no other injuries reported during the first two-day Breeders’ Cup Oct. 26-27.
Two regular Breeders' Cup host tracks--Belmont Park and Churchill Downs--have dirt surfaces. All Southern California tracks that could be considered to host the Cup now have synthetic surfaces.