Wednesday, June 01, 2005Contact: Shannon K. Luce
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US to list all weather track info

US racing industry body Equibase announced that it will begin collecting and distributing “sealed” track and “all weather” track information in its past performances and race result charts effective June 1, 2005. The aim is to provide the industry with the most accurate description of track conditions and course types.

Equibase is a partnership between The Jockey Club and the Thoroughbred Racing Associations of North America and serves as the Thoroughbred industry’s official database for racing information.

“From its inception, Equibase has strived to provide the most accurate and complete data in support of the industry,” said Chuck Scaravilli, Equibase vice president, track and field. “With sealed tracks becoming more common and all weather surfaces gaining a foothold here in America, it is important that we provide the industry with this new information.”

A sealed track is a dirt track that has been floated (packed down) and not subsequently harrowed. Dry tracks are sealed so that water runs off the track, reducing the amount of precipitation absorbed into the surface. Wet tracks are sealed to provide a safe and even racing surface.

“We use the sealed track description as an official tool to give the public a better account of the track surface,” said Bill Nader, senior vice president, New York Racing Association. “Handicappers use the information to make a more informed decision, because some horses like a sealed track while others don’t.” All weather track surfaces currently are more prevalent in Europe than in North America. In the United States, an all weather surface, Polytrack, was installed on the Keeneland training track last September, and in April, Turfway Park announced plans to install Polytrack on its main track.

“The all-weather designation more accurately describes foreign race courses in past performances currently in the Equibase database and prepares us for the installation of an all weather surface on a main track in the U.S.,” Scaravilli said.

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