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Sunday, February 11, 2007

Balled-Up Feet Cause Concern, Racing Cancelled on Polytrack in Kentucky

The Daily Racing Form reported on Friday that Turfway Park in Kentucky had cancelled racing on Thursday after horses were found to be finishing races with balls of the artificial racing surface stuck to their feet.

In the article, one jockey complained that it felt like his horse was walking on stilts. Trainers were spraying "Pam" cooking oil or WD-40 on the soles of their horses' feet to try to prevent sticking.

Turfway is in the second year of racing on the much-lauded Polytrack surface, recently installed at Keeneland in Lexington and several California tracks.

Turfway augmented the surface for last week's freezing winter racing conditions with a special blend of Polytrack topping surface. Polytrack is marketed as a racing surface that is not affected by weather conditions and that it is safe for horses. However, the weather has been unseasonably cold in Kentucky for the past week or so.

It sounds like they need some bubble rim pads, but I doubt the ones used on pleasure horses would work with race plates. However, if they can bond plastic rim pads to shoes, couldn't they bond a bubble rim?

This looks like an opportunity for glue shoe expertise to shine. If anyone hears of a solution, or has a suggestion, let me know!

The story is posted on the Daily Racing Form web site, but you must register to view it. Presumably, Polytrack will have an additive to counter the sticky stuff...or it will warm up soon. Think spring!

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