NYRA is switching races to my beloved inner track this weekend, and praying that they can have the main track back in shape for a heavy stakes schedule over Thanksgiving weekend. Many thanks to Alan over at the Left at the Gate for the tip off.
"After discussions with our trainers and jockeys and our director of racing surfaces, it was decided that this was the best course of action to give the main track a chance to recover from the effects of recent adverse weather," said Bill Nader, New York Racing Association Senior Vice-President and COO. "There is a forecast for heavy rain tonight and into the morning, and we want to do all that we can to make sure the main track is ready for next week's HolidayFest program."NYRA promises races will return to the main track Wednesday, November 22, but we shall see. NYRA's financial cushion isn't the only thing that's deteriorating, according to recent comments from John Passero, NYRA's director of racing surfaces. The main track's clay base has deteriorated, creating problems when the surface gets wet.
Passero said over the years that the clay base has migrated into the cushion, "and it's changed the properties and the way it reacts. It's all in the way it reacts," he said. "I think this is a huge issue. The material has to be the type of material that will hold together when it's wet, and this does not hold together. That's the bottom line."The actual bottom line is that it would cost $3 million to tear up the main track and put in a limestone-based surface, and $12 million to replace the main track with a synthetic surface, Passero told the Daily Racing Form. NYRA officials say they don't have the money to do anything about it. "Without that (slot) revenue stream here, we are in Chapter 11 protection, and he's talking about overhauling the track," said Bill Nader, NYRA senior vice president. "Right now, it's up to him and his staff to really keep the track in the best possible condition and hope we don't get hit with 3 1/2 inches of rain."
NYRA.COM: Main Track Closed