Del Mar plans to install dirt track for 2015

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Dusty
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Wed Feb 19, 2014 2:20 am

Oh just great bring back the dirt which was the cause of so many injuries and fatalities = why do they not get the Hollywood surface in there - worked well and was fair. I cringe at the thought of them putting dirt back in at DelMar
May they run with the WIND
BaroqueAgain1
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Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:15 am

Racing seems to have a short memory...the main reason the all-weather surfaces were mandated in California was the depressing number of fatal injuries horses suffered in the years leading up to the change.
I agree that it would have been great to move the Hollywood surface to Del Mar...but I don't know if that sort of exchange is even physically possible. And since Del Mar appears hellbent on trying to get a Breeders' Cup, you know that there was no way they were going to keep a synthetic surface, even such a high-quality one as Hollywood's.
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mariasmon
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Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:57 am

BaroqueAgain1 wrote:Del Mar appears hellbent on trying to get a Breeders' Cup, you know that there was no way they were going to keep a synthetic surface, even such a high-quality one as Hollywood's.
The Europeans loved that the main track was synthetic for the 2 BCs held at Santa Anita in 2008-09. Having it at Del Mar with the current track would likely attract more Euros, which seems to be important to the BC organization. At least, pleasing the Euros seems to be important to BC, based on certain decisions and the way certain things have been handled. Most US-based connections will obviously prefer a dirt course if Del Mar were to host the BC.

I bet if Arlington hosted the BC in its current state, there would be higher than usual numbers of non-North American based horses. It's already demonstrated that Arlington's turf is a great course for foreign invaders. Many would probably be tempted to try the main-track races, as well, if the main track was Polytrack. Plus, Arlington's proximity to O'Hare Airport makes it a fairly easy shipping situation, although it's certainly not the only racetrack situated near a big airport.

I'm not advocating it, because I like to see the traditional dirt races run on actual dirt. I'd like to see great tracks like Woodbine and Arlington host the BC again, but not while they have Polytrack. I think if Del Mar had installed a surface like Hollywood's to start with, this whole discussion would probably be moot. I wouldn't have objected to a BC held at Hollywood before its demise, but I wasn't a fan of the back-to-back BCs at SA on their questionable synthetic main track.
Auburndee
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Wed Feb 19, 2014 5:19 am

Synthetics never came close to working at Del Mar: it was inconsistant from one day to the next. (Heck, it can change completely from morning to afternoon.)

I'm not a Materials Engineer, but I suspect the salt air causes the synthetics to break down faster. I don't think anything but completely natural materials will hold up to the Pacific Ocean, and even that needs careful maintenance.
Sound of Freedom
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Wed Feb 19, 2014 5:31 am

They will now get a Breeders Cup but likely will not get those amazing Pick 6 carryovers.
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dustino140
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Wed Feb 19, 2014 8:57 am

Seems the synthetic experiment in major US racing got an F. I guess that's what happens when you mandate something you know very little about.
stark
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Wed Feb 19, 2014 12:46 pm

The really BIG question is who will be the track superintendent?

Will it be a dirt expert?
Will it be the current poly team?

Will it be a guy who likes to steamroll the track to superfast hardness?

This to me is the big question......when the CHRB originally said there needed to be a change away from dirt because of too many injuries, I think a harder look should've been given to the track super's and their personal maintenance plans.
I've found it easier to tear up tickets at 8/1 instead of 8/5.
Sound of Freedom
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Wed Feb 19, 2014 12:53 pm

stark wrote:The really BIG question is who will be the track superintendent?

Will it be a dirt expert?
Will it be the current poly team?

Will it be a guy who likes to steamroll the track to superfast hardness?

This to me is the big question......when the CHRB originally said there needed to be a change away from dirt because of too many injuries, I think a harder look should've been given to the track super's and their personal maintenance plans.
Bob Baffert has not decided yet who he wants as the super.
gravano
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Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:19 pm

If you run the BC at Arlington the dirtbags can go down to Hawthorne.
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pointgivenfan
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Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:39 pm

gravano wrote:If you run the BC at Arlington the dirtbags can go down to Hawthorne.
The BC in Cicero.
Ha.
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gravano
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Wed Feb 19, 2014 5:38 pm

Technically Stickney, which is actually a little worse.
sweettalk
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Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:45 pm

why not just use what hollywood had? people there seemed to just love it. what were they using? tapeta?
BaroqueAgain1
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Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:55 pm

I believe it was Cushion Track, and I have read that there was more actual dirt in the formulation than many other synthetics have.
Somnambulist

Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:56 pm

sweettalk wrote:why not just use what hollywood had? people there seemed to just love it. what were they using? tapeta?
If they're gonna rip it up they might as well do it the right way lol


I wonder how history will look at the races and horses that ran over it.
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dustino140
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Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:00 pm

Somnambulist wrote:
sweettalk wrote:why not just use what hollywood had? people there seemed to just love it. what were they using? tapeta?
If they're gonna rip it up they might as well do it the right way lol


I wonder how history will look at the races and horses that ran over it.
They were a joke when they ran on them at the time, and I'd assume history will continue to view them similarly.
Somnambulist

Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:03 pm

Who remembers when you were slammed as a bigoted East Coaster who helped slaughter horses when you voiced against synthetics?

Things always come full circle....
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Starine
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Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:53 pm

gravano
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Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:55 am

Whatever surface is safest works for me.
Handicapping AW surfaces is harder than dirt and it's not good for trainers who come from the quarter horse tradition and have built their careers on speed.
But I really don't care if this is what we need to appease to keep racing going at Del Mar, as long as it's safe.
8596wool
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Thu Feb 20, 2014 10:08 am

Admin wrote:Now, just get the dirt back to Keeneland.....
Highly unlikely. Keeneland is the peddler of one version of fake track.
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