They're Chomping at Bit for Polytrack 'Trial' Races

The first pari-mutuel race on the new Polytrack at Turfway Park isn't scheduled until the evening of Sept. 7, but trainers have showed they're anxious to try it out by entering enough horses for three exhibition events the morning of Aug. 24.

Turfway, which will host the first Polytrack race meet in the United States, is hosting a media event to discuss the new surface and its nuances. Plans initially called for one exhibition race, but the entry box overflowed.

Turfway president Bob Elliston said the Northern Kentucky track has carded three six-horse races--two events for 2-year-olds, and one for older claimers. First post time for the trial races is 10 a.m. EDT.

Though trainers have raved about the surface, which Keeneland has had on its five-eighths-mile training track since last summer, Elliston and others are waiting to see how they respond when entries are taken for the live meet. An encouraging sign is that stall applications were up at Turfway.

"I'm encouraged by 18 horses wanting to try the track out with no money (being offered)," Elliston said. "We've left it up to the trainers to secure riders, but I understand most of them are securing jockeys (rather than exercise riders)."

The media event also will feature a panel discussion on Polytrack, as well as a question-and-answer session.