Synthetic racetrack surfaces: the pros and cons

21 08 2007

After Barbaro’s very public injury, and nineteen equine deaths at Del Mar last year, the California Horse Racing Board mandated that synthetic racing surfaces be installed at all major thoroughbred tracks before the end of this year. So far, the reviews are mixed: the surfaces are springier, drain well, and don’t require watering. On the other hand, race times are slower and some trainers are reporting that their horses are getting sore back muscles from running on the new stuff. More here

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7 responses

22 08 2007

Thanks for the diagram of the layers. I’d never seen that before.

24 08 2007

I hope they get this all figured out. For me what’s good for the horses is most important. Records are just statistics and we all know they can find a way to make those work the way they want.

4 10 2007
Neil Black

I can see an issue with the polytack surface already. You have said it does not require water. This is false. The tracks laid in the US require watering in warm weather.
The only synthetic track thatdoes not require water is ProRide.
Perhaps US tracks should be looking at that surface.

22 12 2007
Denny Nash

I am an avid fan and full-time handicapper and horse racing systempublisher. What I’ve noticed in California is that front runners seem to tire more easily on the new polytrack. This is interesting as the majority of horses have been bred for fast. bursting speed. I believe the more tracks that go to this surface, the less those type runners will dominate. So this will have a big impact on the breeders as well.

17 03 2008

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8 05 2008
Andrew S.

I am doing a fake bill in my government class and the topic for me is horse racing, with the recent events of barbaro and the 2 year old filly i belive that not only a different surface’s but getting rid of the undisirable traits. They are no small animal and yet we have bred them to have legs thinner then a human’s. This may have made faster race horses but at what cost???

15 04 2009
How to Get Six Pack Fast

After reading through the article, I just feel that I really need more information on the topic. Could you share some resources ?

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