Glen Kozak

Track Superintendent Field Day Set For September

Churchill Downs will play host to the 2024 Track Superintendent Field Day Sept. 8-10, beginning with a welcome reception the night of Sept. 8 followed by two days of the conference. The 2024 agenda will be developed by the advisory committee of seven racetrack superintendents with knowledge and experience with all types of surfaces: Leif Dickinson, Sean Gault, Glen Kozak, Jake Leitzel, Dennis Moore, Jim Pendergest, and Jamie Richardson. Speakers, presentations, and hands-on demonstrations will take place at Churchill Downs. The topics will include sharing of best practices as well...

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'No Evidence' of Issues with Tracks, According to NYRA's O'Rourke

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY. - In the wake of two fatal breakdowns during the Travers day program Saturday, New York Racing Association officials faced the questions of if they should immediately cancel the remaining races on the card at Saratoga Race Course and whether to run on Sunday. After fact-finding sessions both days, NYRA President and CEO David O'Rourke said the courses were deemed safe for competition--the jockeys were in agreement--and racing continued as scheduled. The catastrophic leg injuries that led to two horses being euthanized Saturday brought the total of...

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Facelift in Store for Saratoga, New Synthetic Track for Belmont Park

The main takeaway from Wednesday's meeting of the New York State Franchise Oversight Board is that the Saratoga Race Course and Belmont Park of today will look quite different by the end of 2024, with the bulk of the meeting spent outlining a series of proposed and ongoing capital improvement projects, which the board approved. Arguably the news of most significance is planned installation of a new one-mile synthetic track to the inside of Belmont Park's inner turf course. This synthetic surface--the specific material of which is currently unknown--will serve...

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New First-Turn Spa Seating, Belmont Infield Horse Tunnel Proposed

A first-turn seating expansion at Saratoga Race Course and the addition of a 400-foot long infield horse tunnel at Belmont Park were among the improvement projects floated by New York Racing Association (NYRA) executives on Thursday. Three new backstretch dormitories at Saratoga are also on NYRA's to-do list, according to a preview of possible 2023 projects discussed at the Sep. 1 Franchise Oversight Board (FOB) meeting. The FOB represents the interests of NYRA's state-owned properties, and that board still must formally approve the projects if and when NYRA submits a...

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NTRA Racecourse Managers' Conference Begins Mar. 6

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association's first annual Racecourse Managers' Conference and Workshop kicks off Sunday, Mar. 6 at the South Point Arena & Equestrian Center in Las Vegas. Continuing through Mar. 8, the Conference hosts racetrack management, superintendents, and equine facility managers from across the country to experience comprehensive, science-based discussions and demonstrations on maintaining safe racing, training, and event surfaces, along with an explanation of how to participate in the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA) racing surface regulations and the processes for HISA implementation and reporting. For the...

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MD Horsemen Press For Swift Return Amid Track Woes

Laurel Park, which hasn't hosted racing since Jan. 2 and was closed for 18 days in late autumn over safety and weather-related woes that have plagued its new multi-million-dollar dirt surface, is now scheduled to next card racing for Sunday, Jan. 16--but only if Mother Nature cooperates. The Maryland racing community and Laurel executives traded updates and opinions on the controversial, work-in-progress track restoration project Tuesday afternoon in a 30-minute videoconference. But when Mike Rogers, the president of the racing division for The Stronach Group (TSG), which owns Laurel's corporate...

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NTRA Conference To Focus On Racing, Training and Event Surfaces

The NTRA Racecourse Managers' Conference and Workshop will be held Sunday through Tuesday, Mar. 6-8, at the South Point Hotel, Casino and Spa in Las Vegas, Nevada. An opening reception Mar. 6 will be followed by a day and a half of discussions and demonstrations. The full agenda for the conference will be released later this month, but confirmed speakers and topics include: Dennis Moore, Racetrack Consultant and Superintendent, will demonstrate the use of lasers for grade measurements and how to check grades on horse racing and arena surfaces; The...

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Under Microscope of Heightened Vigilance, Racing at Laurel a 'Go'

Amid glowing opinions from stakeholders that the work-in-progress new dirt surface at Laurel Park has improved dramatically after eight equine fatalities from main-track fractures there this autumn, racing has been greenlighted to proceed as scheduled Dec. 16 for the first time in 18 days. The Maryland Racing Commission (MRC) determined during a Tuesday tele-meeting that it didn't technically need to take a vote for racing to resume, but the board made sure to solicit ample feedback from jockeys, trainers, track executives, track surface consultants and veterinarians before issuing a verbal...

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Saratoga to Open for Training Apr. 17

Saratoga Race Course will open for spring training at 6 a.m. Saturday, Apr. 17, the New York Racing Association announced Friday. The barn area at the Oklahoma Training Track will open to horsemen  Thursday, Apr. 15. To accommodate the completion of a major renovation of the Oklahoma Training Track facility, training will begin on the main track at Saratoga Race Course. When training resumes at the Oklahoma in early May, horses and riders will be met with a completely reconstructed track featuring a limestone base, renovated surface layer and modernized...

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