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In "Ground Control -- The REAL Truth About Synthetic Surfaces," Thoroughbred Daily New Magazine takes an in-depth look at the subject in their Winter 2010 magazine.
The article by Bill Finley includes interviews with trainers, owners, track executives, veterinarians, handicappers and other with a wide range of view and provides a slew of technical and statistical information.
Available online by free subscription at http://www.thoroughbreddailynews.com/members/index.cfm and the pdf file can also be downloaded from http://www.dmtc.com/upload/groundcontrolxxx.pdf.
"Peace is that brief glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading."
-- Thomas Jefferson
Good article -- perhaps biased toward the plastics. They didn't bring up the safety record of Oaklawn and Saratoga. If the dirt truly is the culprit then why do those meets (and others on dirt) show such a good safety record? People talk about Eight Belles but hell, look at the Derby record for safety. 130+ years of running large fields on dirt and how many breakdowns?
Synthetics are finished and no amount of marketing genius is going to compensate for the problems they have shown. For all the people who saw a gold mine in selling this stuff the ship didn't come in -- it crashed on the reef and broke apart in public view.
Never mind on my last post. Does it ever occur to anyone that you can't just pick up a track from a different climate and a different region and plop it down in southern California?
The article says the sport had 100 years to perfect dirt tracks and didn't do it, now we want to toss out synthetics after less than five years?
National handle is down 20%, the California synthetic tracks are only down a fraction of that. Arlington is actually up 7%. Racing deaths are down. Point to Santa Anita being canceled for a week if you want to, but some feel California racing needs a break here and there any way, they got one.
I love John Shirreffs, but surely it has to have occurred to him that Zenyatta is still racing at six with no major setbacks. Could the same be true if all her starts had been on dirt? I'm not really convinced we will see Rachel Alexandra again.
Darrell Vienna and Maggi Moss have some strong opinions, but I would be more likely to listen to a true in-his-blood "horseman" like Mandella. What are the stable-size differences between Mandella in California vs. either of them.
7 posts • Page 1 of 1
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