Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory

Q&A on Churchill/Ellis with Track Surfaces Expert Mick Peterson

Dr. Michael "Mick" Peterson, Jr. is the executive director of the independent Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory. He is a mechanical engineer who is widely considered the preeminent track surface specialist in North America. His team has conducted the ongoing testing at Churchill Downs, and it will be tasked this week with being sure Ellis Park is ready to handle a race meet in expedited fashion while also helping out with the continued surface analysis at Churchill. TDN spoke with Peterson early Friday evening in the wake of the 12 horse...

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Lazarus: No Need to Shut Down Racing at Churchill…At Least for Now

With the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA) having called a veterinary summit to try to get to the bottom of what is going on at Churchill Downs, where 12 horses have died since Apr. 27, HISA CEO Lisa Lazarus said Tuesday that she is hopeful some answers will emerge in the days ahead that will help explain the situation. In the meantime, though, she said her group is not ready to recommend that racing be halted at the home of the Kentucky Derby. "That is one of the things...

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Integrated Racetrack Tester Next Step in Racetrack Safety

The definition of insanity, some smart person once said, is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. In a twist on that aphorism, Kaleb Dempsey, laboratory manager of the Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory (RSTL), explained one recent afternoon how part of the problem with the way racetracks maintain their surfaces is that, by virtue of their tools, they have been restricted to doing the same things over and over and expecting the same kind of results. Which is where a new bespoke piece of equipment, currently...

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Jockey Club Donates Over $750K to Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory

The Jockey Club has completed a contribution of more than $750,000 from its commercial businesses to the Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory (RSTL) for equipment and other assets to expand services to additional racetracks across North America, the organization announced Tuesday. The need to increase and sustain the future of research and innovation in track safety testing by the RSTL was expressed by Dr. Nancy Cox, dean, College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, University of Kentucky, at The Jockey Club's Aug. 11, 2019, Round Table Conference. Following Dr. Cox's remarks last...

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