DAY 8: Fine-Tuning of Laurel Surface The Final Step

The crew working on renovation of the main track at Laurel Park continued to fine-tune the surface Aug. 28 with the intention of having it ready for training on Tuesday morning.
The top material was replaced by Aug. 27. Maryland Jockey Club President Sal Sinatra said the surface was measured and showed depths of 2 ½ inches along to the rail to 5 ½ inches at the crown, so the crew worked to even it out. Water was added to the surface to facilitate the process.
“They’ve been moving around a lot of dirt,” Sinatra said the morning of Aug. 28. “The whole thing now is about moving dirt and rolling it. They began working first thing this morning, so the surface probably will be fine (Tuesday).
“There is a chance of rain Tuesday, which may actually help in packing down the surface.”
Light showers are forecast for about 6 a.m., with increasing intensity through the morning and afternoon as a result of Tropical Storm Irma.
Meanwhile, the MTHA has reached out to Dr. Mick Petersen, Executive Director of the Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory, to request he visit Laurel Park and analyze the renovated dirt surface. Peterson, currently Director of the University of Kentucky Agriculture Equine Program, has worked on improving racing surfaces for the health and welfare of horses and riders for almost 20 years.
Peterson works with racetracks on devising maintenance plans for surfaces, and his work dovetails with The Jockey Club Equine Injury Database. Before he took the job in Kentucky, Peterson was on faculty as a mechanical engineering professor at the University of Maine.

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