Edited press release
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.
Dennis Dowd, senior vice president of racing; Chris McErlean, vice president of racing operations; Bob Kulina, Monmouth Park vice president and general manager, and Tad Stockman, director of Standardbred racing at Meadowlands, visited Dickinson's 200-acre farm on the Chesapeake Bay along with Thoroughbred trainer Kelly Breen and Standardbred trainer Jimmy Takter.
To demonstrate the versatility of the material, Dickinson trained two Thoroughbreds over the track and two hours later, after the surface had been rolled, Takter trained Standardbred horses over the same material. Tapeta--Latin for carpet--is a mix of sand, rubber and fibers coated with hot wax.
The NJSEA, which owns and operates Monmouth and Meadowlands, is in the early stages of exploring synthetic racing surfaces.
"We are watching closely the experiences of other tracks installing synthetic surfaces and the early results are extremely promising," Dowd said. "Mr. Dickinson invited us to review his Tapeta surface, and he fully understands our needs at the Meadowlands regarding a safe and consistent surface for both breeds. We will continue our due-diligence process in reviewing all the different synthetic racing surfaces, and its possible application at both of our racetracks."