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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Signed, sealed...

The deal between Woodbine Entertainment Group and those representing Polytrack, including Keeneland racecourse (which owns 50% of the North American interest) has been signed, leading the way to the innovative surface to replace Woodbine's main track beginning after the Canada day weekend in July.
Having seen and felt Woodbine's 'recipe' for Polytrack, this corner believes horsemen, and horses, will enjoy the unique soft and springy nature of the surface.
Of course, having watched Turfway Park races all winter and seeing the shocking amount of kickback of that track's Polytrack surface, there is always room for some concern.
Fans, including one recent fan of the game who sent me a comment, would certainly be wondering about Polytrack if they too have seen Turfway.
However Woodbine's mixture is a much denser mix of wax-covered silica sand, fibre and rubber bits. It also has retained the brown look of a regular main track.
For six to eight weeks this summer, racing will take place on the seven-furlong harness track inside the main course, meaning that horses at Woodbine will race on, essentially, three different tracks this season.
Horsemen, handicappers and fans should have a fun time figuring out what's going to happen from one segment to the next!
Indeed, Woodbine's main track needs a major fix and since Polytrack, in various versions, has been so well-received in Europe, it only makes sense that Woodbine, a leader in innovation for all North American tracks, makes this move.
As David Willmot said to this corner: to him, the implementation of Polytrack is the "most compelling thing to happen at Woodbine since slot machines."
What do you think?


  • At 6:56 AM, Blogger Neil said…

    So the Woodbine surface will be brown? Does that mean a surface can be any colour? Could we have racing over a mauve track?

    Good point on the kickback, I did notice that and it did surprise me because one of the original claims of Polytrack is that kickback is reduced. I think David Willmot is right, it is compelling. The Turfway Park president said recently that the number of fatal breakdowns this winter has been 3 instead of 16 and that fields have been up and horses have run mre frequently. Now maybe that's also had something to do with the unusually warm winter.

  • At 5:46 PM, Blogger judy said…

    I think something definitely needed to be done. The state of the racing surfaces, both main & training have been in horrible disrepair(if that makes sense) the past few years. One has to wonder if Lake Ontario is desparately close to drying out what with the lack of watering that seems to be the norm regarding regular maintenance.
    Perhaps this is just what the Doctor, or Vet has it were, ordered!


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