Playing Turfway Park

by Ed Meyer

posted on February 7, 2023 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing, | Comments Off on Playing Turfway Park

PHOTOS: Turfway Park getting multi-million dollar renovation




No matter the weather you can always count on the track condition at Turfway Park to be fast. – Tapeta is very similar to Polytrack. There’s almost no kickback and they say that it’s more versatile than Polytrack. It’s a very fair surface to race on and would be quite similar to a “Good” rating on a turf track.

Turfway’s new Tapeta main track is part of a larger renovation to the facility being undertaken by Churchill Downs Inc., which purchased the property in October 2019. CDI’s first order of business was to raze the aged grandstand upon the conclusion of the most recent meeting this past spring. It is slated to be replaced by a new structure that in addition to trackside seating will include a space for historical racing machines, which are casino-type devices that have proven a major boon to purse accounts in Kentucky.

The new Tapeta main track replaces the Polytrack surface that had been employed since 2005 and had shown deterioration in recent years. It has been in use for training since November and has drawn seemingly unanimous praise from horsemen. Among those are top conditioner Brad Cox, who will have a string at Turfway Park for the first time in more than a decade.

I am really looking forward to having horses stabled at Turfway Park this winter,” Cox said. “It will be the first time I have had horses stabled at Turfway since 2008 and this allows me the opportunity to race year-round in Kentucky. Our horses have been training for a few weeks over the new Tapeta track and it appears to be an excellent racing surface. We are excited to be there.”

In addition to Cox there are several other new trainers expected to have a presence at Turfway Park this winter. They include Hall of Famer Mark Casse, Mike Tomlinson, Jonathan Thomas and Eddie Kenneally. Among the mainstays returning are leading 2019-20 trainer Mike Maker and Wesley Ward according to Horse Racing Nation.

Riders to play; Gerardo Corrales – Tactical rider who will get very busy down the lane when the real running begins. When he is locked in battle dueling it out, you can bet dollars to donuts; he’ll best the other rider as he knows just when to push the buttons.

Fernado De La Cruz – Once a Tampa rider has found himself a home. Very solid and you have to factor him when making bets.

Luan Machado – Talk about a rider who is on fire and doing well. Here he is. – Versatile in the saddle and dangerous when the real running begins.

Look for runners who can hang in mid-flight and be no more than 6-8 lengths off the lead. Closers can win, but make sure there is a plethora of speed that will cause a pace collapse.

The fields are chock-full and you’ll see more full fields than not. – Playing anything outside the 8 post can get a little troublesome. The rail can play “dead” at times and you’ll want to use runners who can play in the 3-6 posts. Keep in mind if playing a stalking sort, they can get a great trip stalking just off the pace.

Playing Turfway can give you a great deal of value during the winter months. Long ago, the Turfway signal was mainly cheaper claimers, but today the purses are swollen and prime for picking as everyone brings their “A” game to town.


As always, best of luck from your friends at Winning Ponies! – We’ll see you in the winner’s circle.