ascot aug08
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Monday, August 28, 2006

Heeeeeeere's Poly!

Saturday Aug. 26 at Woodbine.
Polytrack glistens in the sun.

Okay, so the first six races over Polytrack Wednesday night at Woodbine are not the best events ever assembled in 50 years of the track - in fact, they are among the weakest fields seen all year.
The good news is, Polytrack is ready to go and Woodbine will be just the second track in North America to hold a race meeting over the waxy, rubbery surface.
Reports from many horsemen Sunday say the first training session over the surface was more than acceptable and 83 horses worked while hundreds more galloped over it. Some were very tired after their exercise, some floated over the track. Some went very quickly too.
How Polytrack will "play" is a big question - there is not expected to be any kind of bias as there is no longer a crown to the track (the world is indeed flat!) and the moisture will go straight through to the bottom.
For now, perhaps simply focussing on fit horses is the key - will fresh horses still be as prominent over the new surface or will they have a fitness disadvantage?
It won't be easy to have too many answers from Wednesday night with some 40 plus horses in 6 main track races.
Chris Evans explained that a Wednesday opening for Polytrack (it was scheduled to open the previous Wednesday) may not be a first choice but the time had come to return to the main track after two months of racing over the inner dirt (harness track).
In additon, Evans said the condition book had been written a month ago and thus the races offered Wed. evening may not have been ideal for what horses and trainers are ready now. He added the condition book is written to have bigger and better fields on weekends not "weak-days".
Anyway, a great sigh of relief for horsemen and horseplayers (sheesh, this public handicapper struggled for 2 months trying to pick a winner!) as we move into the Polytrack era.

WEEKEND NOTES - Reade Baker tacked on another three wins to pad his lead atop the trainer standings while rivals Bob Tiller and Mark Casse also collected wins.
First-time starter KAMBOO MAN put up a 74 Beyer Figure when winning his debut on Sunday while local hero LE CINQUIEME ESSAI earned a 99 in the Play the King score.
Winning machine COLD WAR did it again - this time for $32,000 claiming at Woodbine and jockey David Clark has been red-hot in recent weeks.


  • At 8:07 PM, Blogger kentucky joe said…

    thanks for the insight on the poly. keeneland has just about finished installing it so I am anxious to learn as much about the handicapping impact to prep for the October meet. Nice couple of posts!


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