Did They Move Too Quickly?

by Ed Meyer

posted on January 20, 2010 in General Discussion | No Comments >>

California made the move. It seems like yesterday that there was a mandate to make the change to the synthetic revolution. Fast-forward a few years later, and the tide may be turning.

Take Santa Anita. Pro-Ride is installed and has been problematic ever since. Just this Monday. they were forced to cancel due to a day of rain. The whole premise of poly tracks was to be able to repel everything that Mother Nature could throw at them. Not the case….

Track President Ron Charles has been in discussion to replace the surface with dirt after the meet. Now, we all know it will not be that simple. But, the wheels are turning, and that can be a bad thing for the makers of synthetics. The California Horse Racing Board said that they would be open to the idea or plan of a changeover.

Since the change to Cushion Track in 2007, there have been many days lost due to non-draining surfaces. This led to another overhaul of the track to Pro-Ride. The synthetics have divided owners, and caused more canceled days. The track is uneven, and according to riders, there were soft spots on the course.

OK.¬† Point well taken and documented. For years, the game has had dirt surfaces. The only folks who totally support the idea of artificial tracks are those who have a vested interest. I think it is time to allow the tracks to make their own decision. After all, it is their money on the line. This is not a $10,000 investment. It can cost in the millions, and it does not seem to answer the questions. Wouldn’t we be better served to patrol the existing surfaces and ensure safety for ALL tracks that are going to conduct a meet? Not just NTRA tracks, but all tracks…. Think about it, and let us know what you think…..