DAY 3: Repair of Surface Base in Several Spots Begin at Laurel

Examination of the base of the main track at Laurel Park began the afternoon of Aug. 22 and resulted in the identification of five locations requiring re-grading.

After the surface material was scraped away, crews took measurements and found the inconsistencies in the grading, Maryland Jockey Club President Sal Sinatra said. Repairs began Aug. 23 and were expected to take a few days.

“They found five areas of concern, most of them on the outside of the track,” Sinatra said. “When I say the outside of the track I mean from the crown out.

The crew has been spraying the outside rails so people can see the spots they’re working on.

“These aren’t pronounced dips like the one we had past the finish line (earlier this year). The areas they identified are just a couple of degrees off (grade).”

Sinatra said the area with the most pronounced dip is located from the crown out at the eighth-pole in the stretch. It had been dug up before because of a water main break.

Repair of the limestone base will be done using mica chips that serve as a bonding agent.

“When they put the new limestone down, the chips will help it mesh,” Sinatra said. “The dry weather is a big help, because the material needs to bake.”

If the current schedule holds, the surface material—some clay content will be added—could be restored Aug. 25, with rolling and grading during the weekend.

“We’re trying to the get the surface done no later than (Aug. 28),” Sinatra said. “Mother Nature has been very good to us during this project.”

General maintenance on the turf course is being done during the dirt surface repairs.

Sinatra said he expects the Maryland Racing Commission, at its Aug. 24 meeting at Laurel, will ask for an update on the surface renovation.

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