November 07, 2006
For the second time in six months, tragedy struck one of Thoroughbred racing's showcase events. The arrival of a new racing surface, however, could usher in an era of safer American tracks.
Pine Island was fatally injured and Fleet Indian... Read More
October 28, 2006
Racing may have been winding down on Saturday, Oct. 28, the final day of Keeneland's fall meet in Lexington, Ky., but top stakes contenders were taking advantage of the opportunity to get in one last work over Polytrack before the Breeders' Cup... Read More
October 06, 2006
As Keeneland officials noted with a laugh, it couldn't have been better scripted. But sometimes in horse racing, things have a funny way of coming together despite numerous factors. And on Friday, opening day at the Lexington racetrack, they did... Read More
September 16, 2006
You've heard the names: Cushion Track, Polytrack, Tapeta, StaLok. They are the trademark names of the major players in racing's latest frontier: the new North American market to replace dirt tracks with synthetic ones.
Pardon the pun, but o... Read More
August 31, 2006
Demi Song bounced his way into Canadian Thoroughbred record books at Woodbine Aug. 30 when the gelding won the first race over the track's new Polytrack surface.
Woodbine is only the second track in North America to hold a race meeting o... Read More
August 27, 2006
Woodbine Racetrack unveiled its state-of-the-art Polytrack racing surface for training today (Aug. 27).
Hundreds of horses galloped, jogged, or walked while 84 recorded timed workouts ranging from two furlongs to seven furlongs during th... Read More
August 17, 2006
Woodbine Entertainment Group has targeted Aug. 30 for its first race to take place on the Toronto track's new state-of-the-art Polytrack surface.
"We expect to complete the installation of the Polytrack on top of the macadam (final... Read More
June 05, 2006
The Fair Hill Training Center in Elkton, Md., plans to install the Tapeta all-weather surface on its training track during the summer of 2006, it announced May 31.
The synthetic surface, designed by trainer Michael Dickinson and first... Read More
June 05, 2006
Woodbine Entertainment Group announced last Thursday (June 2) it has received approval from the Ontario Racing Commission to drop nine dates from Woodbine's 2006 Thoroughbred racing schedule.
The altered calendar is to accommodate... Read More
May 11, 2006
A fledgling group of owners and breeders in New York has launched a new effort to study a variety of issues affecting the safety of Thoroughbred horses, including whether some of the state's racetracks should install alternative racing surfaces.... Read More
May 01, 2006
Some elements of an equestrian facility shouldn't be taken for granted--solid fencing, sturdy shelter, and good arena footing among them. Then there are areas that sometimes get less attention than they deserve. Pathways around the farm often... Read More
May 01, 2006
If your indoor or outdoor arena is less than you hoped it would be, join the club. ... Read More
April 20, 2006
The Keeneland Association board of directors gave its approval to install a synthetic surface known as Polytrack on the main racetrack during an April 19 meeting. Construction is scheduled to begin in May and the Central Kentucky track will be... Read More
April 12, 2006
Lone Star Park's main track is in its best condition ever, according to several horsemen who have been stabled in Grand Prairie, Texas for several weeks.
The 10th annual 66-date Spring Thoroughbred Season commences Thursday night at 6:35... Read More
April 01, 2006
The California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) decided on Feb. 16 that California racing associations operating meets of at least four continuous weeks will be required to install a synthetic racing surface by the end of 2007 or face a loss of race... Read More
March 11, 2006
California Senator Dean Florez is developing legislation to address the issue of funding for the state's major Thoroughbred racetracks to install Polytrack-like surfaces in order to reduce injuries to horses and riders.
The California... Read More
February 19, 2006
California racing associations that operate meets of at least four continuous weeks would be required to install a synthetic racing surface by the end of 2007 or face a loss of dates, the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) decided Feb.... Read More
October 17, 2005
The Polytrack experiment at Turfway Park was deemed a success--especially for safety reasons--at the conclusion of the 22-day summer/fall meet, though the Northern Kentucky racetrack expects to get a more accurate picture of the synthetic surfac... Read More
August 16, 2005
It is often said the key to real estate is "location, location, location." Well, listening to the speakers at the Aug. 8-9 conference of racetrack superintendents, it became clear the key to a good surface is "consistency, consistency,... Read More
February 01, 2005
A study recently published in the Japan Racing Journal found that as turf courses become wetter and softer, fracture risk is reduced. In contrast, muddy conditions on dirt courses lead to a greater risk of horses sustaining a fracture.... Read More
October 04, 2004
Polytrack--polypropylene fibers, recycled rubber, and silica sand covered in a wax coating--has been used for training and racing for years in Great Britain, but Keeneland is the first U.S. facility to install it.... Read More
June 01, 2004
Flanders and Swann, a singing comedy team from the United Kingdom, once penned a song that went like this:
"Mud, mud, glorious mud,
Nothing quite like it for cooling the blood.
So follow me, follow,
Down to the hollow,
And... Read More
January 01, 2002
Good footing is important for optimizing performance and reducing the risk of lameness. The main reason why sport horses retire early is due to osteoarthritis from constant wear and tear of the joints, sometimes from long-term schooling on bad... Read More
October 02, 2001
Trainers and riders have become sophisticated about ground, and about how good footing protects horses' feet and legs. Many owners spend large sums to install the best footing at home. Indoors or outdoors, they control the type of ground their horses... Read More
September 13, 2001
Two of the saddest words in the English language. After an accident, we tear ourselves apart thinking how we could have prevented it. If only I had seen...If only I had done...Yet, as horse people, we are surrounded by thousands of pounds of... Read More
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Q. An equine sports medicine specialist shares how footing can impact soundness and offers footing selection advice.