HORSES GALLOP ON RENOVATED SURFACE AT LAUREL PARK

Horses returned to a sealed main track the morning of Aug. 29, eight days after the renovation of the Laurel Park dirt surface began.

The surface was sealed before and after the break because of steady, light rain from a disturbance off the Atlantic Coast. The morning featured mostly light gallops.

“It sounds nice (when the horses gallop on it) and it feels better,” trainer Katy Voss said, “but you can’t necessarily tell off of a sealed surface. It certainly has more cushion on it than before—at least it feels like it does. It seems softer and kinder but that could be a combination of the weather and how they sealed it.

“It could be Thursday or Friday before we get a good handle on it.”

Maryland Jockey Club President Sal Sinatra said though the track was reopened, the work “isn’t over by any means.”

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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.

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DAY 6/7: Crew Prepares To Replace Material Atop Laurel Surface

After additional compression tests on the base Aug. 26, the crew working on the renovation of the main track at Laurel Park Aug. 27 was preparing the cushion in advance of replacing the surface material.

The project—the first time in about 12 years the entire dirt track was taken down to its base, examined, and refreshed—began Aug. 21 and has remained on schedule thanks to daily dawn-to-dusk shifts and perfect weather for late August.

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DAY 5: Laurel Surface Renovation Enters Final Stages

The main-track renovation at Laurel Park continued Aug. 25 with double-checks on two of the larger areas in which the base required regrading, including one toward the outside of the surface just before the second finish line.

Maryland Jockey Club President Sal Sinatra said as repair work winds down, the goal remains to have the cushion back in place by Aug. 28 or Aug. 29.

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DAY 4: Laurel Track Renovation Remains On Schedule

Repair of portions of the base of the main track at Laurel Park continued Aug. 24, and it’s still expected surface material will be replaced the weekend of Aug. 26-27.

One of the locations that required a restoration of the base with limestone and mica chips is located just before the second finish line. The area had been worked on earlier this year but the patch didn’t hold.

Maryland Jockey Club President Sal Sinatra Aug. 24 told the Maryland Racing Commission he hopes the project is completed by Aug. 28. Training has been suspended since Aug. 21 to allow for the work, and the weather has been very cooperative thus far.

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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.

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