synthetic surface

Stronach Group Outlines Plans for Southern California

Two weeks after an initial company announcement on the closure of Golden Gate Fields at the end of the year, The Stronach Group (TSG) issued details Friday on their plans for consolidating racing operations at its Southern California racing and training facilities, Santa Anita and San Luis Rey Downs. The plan--shared via Zoom during a press briefing lasting about 30 minutes--appeared large on big-ticket promises though short on specifics in other key areas, including the broader industry impacts from the closure of Golden Gate Fields. The following details were divulged...

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Letter to the Editor: Bill Casner

Editor's note: Bill Casner, a long-time participant in many facets of racing, is probably best known for founding WinStar Farm with Kenny Troutt and winning the 2010 GI Kentucky Derby with Super Saver. Among Casner's many roles in the sport have been founding director of the Race for Education and Kentucky Equine Education Program (KEEP). He has sold his interest in WinStar to Troutt and currently operates as Casner Racing. Horse racing is in a firestorm. We are at survival tipping point. The decisions that are made in the short...

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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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Belmont Park Fall Meet to be Held at Aqueduct Racetrack

The traditional fall meet at Belmont will instead be held at Aqueduct and kick off Sept. 15, the New York Racing Association announced Thursday. It is anticipated that racing will return to Belmont for the 2023 spring meet. The switch to Aqueduct will allow NYRA to undertake the first phases of what could be a major renovation of Belmont Park. Tunnels have been constructed at Belmont that will give construction vehicles access to the infield. The tunnels will also pave the way for pedestrians to have access to the infield....

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This Side Up: Grounds for Optimism

Surface tensions in our business have run pretty deep in recent years, nowhere more so than at Santa Anita. After a failed revolution, with a synthetic track, they eventually backed into a terrifying breakdowns crisis. Racing in California still has its problems, of course, not least the cloud currently over its premier barn--which, after that curious hesitation last week, instead gives its most controversial resident a home game Saturday in the GI Awesome Again S. But given our community's fury right now with another racetrack proprietor, who this week cashed...

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WVRC Chair Wants Charles Town to Switch to Synthetic

Although he stopped short of saying that a surface change at Charles Town Races might soon be mandated by state racing regulators, West Virginia Racing Commission (WVRC) chairman Ken Lowe Jr. made it clear during Tuesday's meeting that he will be advocating for a synthetic surface to replace the traditional dirt that comprises the track's six-furlong oval. Lowe's Apr. 20 comments came against the backdrop of 11 equine fatalities at Charles Town so far in 2021. The track is closed for racing Wednesday through Saturday this week to perform maintenance...

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Southwell to Switch to Tapeta Surface

Southwell Racecourse's fibresand surface will be replaced by Tapeta this spring and the project will be completed by the summer of 2021, the Arena Racing Company announced on Monday. A planning application was submitted for the new surface because the fibresand has come to the end of its operational life. Fibresand was first laid down in 1989, the start of all-weather racing at the Nottinghamshire venue. Tapeta, developed by Michael Dickinson and Joan Wakefield of Tapeta Footings, has already been laid down at Wolverhampton and Newcastle-also ARC courses-since 2014 and...

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