track superintendent

Noffsinger Named Prairie Meadows Track Superintendent

Ryan Noffsinger has been named track superintendent at Prairie Meadows. A third-generation horseman, Noffsinger has worked at tracks from California, Arizona, New Mexico and, most recently, in Florida. "In my 18 years working in various roles with track maintenance, I've been able to gain valuable knowledge at tracks like Del Mar, Turf Paradise, Zia Park, Sunland Park, Gulfstream Park West and Palm Meadows which will serve me well as Track Superintendent for Prairie Meadows," Noffsinger said. Prairie Meadows Vice President for Racing Derron Heldt added, "Ryan brings so much to...

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First Racetrack Maintenance Innovation Award Winners Announced

Edited Press Release The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) presented the Racetrack Maintenance Innovation Awards to its first class of award winners Monday evening at the Racecourse Managers' Conference and Workshop in Las Vegas. The award was created to celebrate the work of racetrack professionals who have day-to-day responsibilities for the maintenance, protection, and safety of horses and riders at tracks across the US. The 2022 winners distinguished themselves as some of the most innovative racetrack professionals in Thoroughbred racing today. "It's so important to highlight the work of racetrack...

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Blackburn Named Track Superintendent at Prairie Meadows

Bob Blackburn has been named the new track superintendent at Prairie Meadows Casino, Racetrack and Hotel. His previous stints include 15 years at Remington Park, 10 years overseeing track maintenance at an Ocala, Florida Thoroughbred Farm and track superintendent at Bandera Downs and Manor Downs in Texas. "I am blessed and excited for this new opportunity in Iowa working at Prairie Meadows," Blackburn said. "Working at racetracks has always been a love of mine, which started in Texas growing up around my dad's Quarter Horses to my experiences either at...

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Cluster of Deaths At Laurel Puts Maryland Racing In Limbo

Seven Laurel Park horses have died since Nov. 6, and eight total have perished this autumn after sustaining fractures while racing or training over the newly installed main dirt track there. The most recent death occurred in Laurel's eighth race Nov. 28, and training has been curtailed in the three days since then. A portion of the surface has been dug up in mid-stretch to allow an influx of track maintenance consultants to try and discover if there is an underlying problem that needs to be addressed. Laurel's next scheduled...

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Longtime Track Superintendent Robert Beaubien Passes Away

Robert "Bob" Beaubien, a longtime track superintendent at tracks including Penn National Race Course, Prairie Meadows, Turf Paradise and Delta Downs, passed away Sept. 1. Beaubien was widely known and respected among his peers, and he was an active participant at the annual Track Superintendent Field Day helping to share his knowledge with others. "Bob was a very nice guy and very knowledgeable," said Jake Leitzel, director of track maintenance at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course. "He was the type of guy that would do anything for you....

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Track Superintendent's Field Day Returns to Indiana Grand

Following a two-year hiatus, the 19th annual Track Superintendent Field Day is set to return Sunday, June 13 at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino. The event kicks off with a reception at the Holiday Inn Express in Shelbyville followed by two days of conference activity at Indiana Grand June 14-15. Moderated by Nancy Holthus, on-air paddock analyst at Indiana Grand, numerous industry experts will be scattered throughout the two-day event regarding surface and soil sciences, the latest in equipment used to maintain track surfaces, agronomic practices, and other tactical safety...

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Track Superintendents Field Day Rescheduled for March 2021

The 19th annual Track Superintendents Field Day, originally scheduled for this coming Sept. 14-16, has been rescheduled for March 2021. The event will still be held at Remington Park in Oklahoma City and hosted by that track's superintendent, Bob Blackburn. The Field Day brings together track superintendents and their crews from around North America and beyond to share ideas and information about track maintenance, safety, equipment and more. Last year's event at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races in West Virginia attracted more than 100 track superintendents and staff from...

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Data the Focus of Peterson Surfaces Presentation

Dr. Mick Peterson, Executive Director of the Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory and Professor, Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, University of Kentucky gave a presentation entitled "Track Surfaces: International standards for racing surfaces and the expansion of the Maintenance Quality System"  Tuesday as part of the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation's weekly webinar series. The series was developed to make up for the cancellation of the ninth Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit due to the coronavirus pandemic. Peterson's presentation was divided into three parts--"current best practices for testing and documentation of...

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Ellis Park Hires Track Super Javier Barajas

Javier Barajas, who has tended to racetracks and courses around the globe, is Ellis Park's new track superintendent. Glenn Thompson, a veteran of almost 70 years maintaining the track, helped Ellis Park become one of the safest racetracks in the country and will continue to work with Barajas. "We now have two of the best and most-respected track superintendents in the world working at Ellis Park," said Jeff Hall, Ellis Park's Director of Racing Operations. "While Javier and Glenn have very different backgrounds, they share fierce determination to do what is...

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