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Ice Cancels Racing Despite Synthetic Track

FLORENCE, Ky. (Scott Dimmich) -- It's hard to drive or walk on icy surfaces, so just imagine if you had to run on one.

Ice at the track forced officials at Turfway Park to cancel some races this weekend.  This winter has been very unusual.  Turfway Park is used to dealing with snow, ice, and cold.  Winter weather is one of many reasons a polytrack was installed in 2006. 

Chip Bach, the general manager of Turfway park, said, "The material is a combination of oil and wax, coated sand, rubber material and fiber material.  It's designed to allow water to permeate." 

But last Tuesday's ice storm got racing off track for a couple of days.

"The slush permeated the polytrack and then when the weather dropped below 0, it fast froze.  So what happened was while we still have a cushion to race on top of, below it was slick for the horses," Bach said.

Prior to changing the dirt track to a polytrack, racing was often cancelled 10 to 15 days each year.  So far this year, racing has been cancelled only 3 and 1/2 days due to cold and the poor condition of the track.

"The polytrack has been tested this year for sure, but it still affords us the opportunity to run when I think we would have have been closed for a lot longer period of time."

Turfway not only cancels racing if conditions are dangerous for the horses, it will also call off races if the temperatures or wind chill drop below 5 degrees for the safety of the fans.




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