‘Way Bigger Than We Originally Anticipated’: Laurel Track Work To Stretch Into Summer

Officials from The Stronach Group announced June 14 that the track renovation at Laurel Park will take longer than originally planned. On a webinar for horsemen, track management revealed that while they had hoped to resume stabling and workouts on the surface in early July, early August is now the target after excavation revealed more serious issues with the base. Dennis Moore, senior track superintendent for 1/ST RACING, reported that it appears a “high plasticity clay” was added to the base at one point “which should have never been there.”

The clay retained water, which was a particular problem since a spring ran under the track surface. The spring originally had a French drain system to remove the water, but that was plugged up at some point.

“It was really just a wet sloppy mess,” said 1/ST chief operating officer Adian Butler. “You don’t need to be a track engineer to understand there’s a lot of water underneath there.”

The clay has been removed and there will be some regrading done around the quarter pole as well as some surface consistency adjustments on the backstretch.

Additionally, Butler said there were two active sewer lines discovered underneath the track’s homestretch, as well as one inactive stormwater drain. The entire base of the track will be replaced and ultimately the pipes discovered there will need to be filled with a solid material so that if they crack, the material above them won’t shift.

“It’s way bigger than we originally anticipated … we’re not going to do this unless we’re going to do it properly,” Butler said.

The base will be completely replaced, and Butler could not rule out a need to do additional renovations in two or three years.

In the meantime, the track is replacing boards and doing extensive painting and power washing in the barn areas, and continuing to battle the rat issue.

When horses do return to the surface, Butler and others stressed that it would be a gradual process to get up to full steam. Horses will be allowed to do light work, followed by timed work, followed by racing with extensive surface checks along the way by The Stronach Group and the Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory. Butler was hopeful racing could return to Laurel sometime after horses come back the first week of August, but stressed the timeline is dependent on weather and the supply chain for the track surface materials.

The post ‘Way Bigger Than We Originally Anticipated’: Laurel Track Work To Stretch Into Summer appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

DYFD Winter - 300x90

Comments are closed.