Dirt, Turf, and Synthetic by the Numbers

Sarah Andrew photo

After the TDN published two opinion pieces which recommended a return to synthetic surfaces, one by Earle Mack in the May 31 TDN and one by Bill Finley in this Monday's TDN, we have been inundated by comments, questions, and opinions about the relative safety of one surface versus another. Some of the questions asked for a year-by-year comparison, while other comments cited statistics that were not correct. Courtesy of The Jockey Club's Equine Injury database, here are the figures of racing fatalities per thousand starters, year by year for the past 14 years. These statistics include fatal injuries of Thoroughbreds that occurred during a race as reported by veterinary officials and includes Thoroughbreds that succumbed to a race-related injury within 72 hours after the race day. For a link to the complete table, click here.

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