- Published: Saturday, 26 October 2019 16:04
The Maryland Jockey Club track maintenance crew at Laurel Park Oct. 26 was busy restoring the base and cushion on part of the main track after repairs were done to a leaking water pipe located about 12 feet under the surface.
The problem was discovered after training Oct. 24. The track crew and MJC facilities staff worked into the evening over three days to repair the breach as quickly as possible.
Training is scheduled to resume Monday, Oct. 28. The situation resulted in the cancellation of four racing programs Oct. 24-27.
Track Superintendent Chris Bosley said there were multiple leaks discovered in the exposed area. When they were repaired, the crew began filling the large hole with CR6 stone, which allows water to run through it. Backfilling the hole took some time—6 to 8 inches were added at a time and then rolled so the material was compacted.
When the stone reached about a foot from the surface, the crew began restoring base material and the cushion. The affected area of the dirt surface is closer to the outer rail in between the first and second finish lines.
There was some urgency given that heavy rain is forecast for late Saturday evening into Sunday.
“The perfect scenario for this is the summer because the sun and heat helps dry out the base,” Bosley said. “The more sun and the hotter it is, the better and tighter the base gets. But we know the material, how much water it needs and how quickly it dries. I think if we had to train (Sunday) we probably could, but with rain coming is was a smart decision to cancel training tomorrow.
“If everything keeps going good we can be back to training Monday morning.”
Bosley noted it was fortunate that it was dry the morning of Oct. 24. While grading the track, the crew noticed the water on the surface; had it been raining that might not have been the case.
“The most important thing is we caught it and no one got hurt,” Bosley said. “Our guys are always out there looking for stuff. They’ve been out here the whole time (working on the repairs). This my track—anything going on like this, I need to be involved.”
“(The crew) has done an admirable job with this,” MJC President Sal Sinatra said. “They’ve been working into the early hours of the evening (under lights), and we know that a flashlight and sunlight are two different things. We wanted to do it right and make sure no one gets hurt. It is a hardship on races and training, but fortunately it’s being done correctly.”
The next scheduled racing day is Thursday, Oct. 31, with the draw Oct. 26. MJC Racing Secretary Chris Merz said all the races that were on the program for Oct. 25 will be drawn again for Friday, Nov. 1; races on the program for Oct. 26 will be used for Saturday, Nov. 2; and races on the program for Oct. 27 will be brought back for Sunday, Nov. 3.