Racing resumes on Del Mar’s turf course without incident

By Joe Tash

Horse racing resumed over the weekend on the newly expanded turf course at Del Mar, after an eight-day closure imposed after four horses were fatally injured in separate incidents during races on the grass track.

No injuries were reported to horses or riders during races on Saturday, Aug. 9, and Sunday, Aug. 10, said Josh Rubinstein, executive vice president of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, which runs the annual horse racing meets at the state-owned Del Mar Fairgrounds.

Rubinstein provided the update to the board of the 22nd District Agricultural Association at its monthly meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 12.  The 22nd DAA operates the fairgrounds, which includes the racetrack, for the state.

The fairgrounds has two horse racing tracks: a larger course with a synthetic surface, and the smaller turf course located inside the synthetic course.  Last winter, the 22nd DAA spent $3.7 million to widen the turf course so that more horses could race at one time, and also to enhance safety, officials said at the time.

The newly widened course was used for the first time during this summer’s horse racing meet. However, officials took the unusual move of suspending all racing on the turf course after the spate of horse deaths.

Rubinstein said the turf course was judged safe by state regulators and representatives of trainers’ and breeders’ groups before it was used for racing.

“Everybody in the industry thought it was a safe course from Day One,” he said. As to the four horse deaths, he said, “We do think it was a statistical anomaly.”

Necropsies of the horses will take 60 to 90 days, and the results will be analyzed by the Thoroughbred Club and the state Horse Racing Board, Rubinstein said.

In all, eight horses have died at Del Mar this year: four on the turf course, one on the main course, and three from natural causes, Rubinstein said.

In the wake of the horse deaths, the club has eliminated shorter, faster “sprint” races, and also prohibited “claiming” horses from racing on the turf track. That means only the “best of the best” horses can race on the turf course this year, Rubinstein said.

Track officials also have instituted aggressive watering and aerating schedules to make the turf track softer, and are requiring four checks of every horse by a veterinarian before racing begins.

“Any horse that they have the slightest bit of concern about should be withdrawn from the race,” he said.

After this fall’s racing meet, track officials plan to replace the larger track’s synthetic surface with a natural dirt surface, Rubinstein said.

Related posts:

  1. Del Mar suspends turf racing following another injury
  2. Del Mar makes additional adjustment to its turf racing
  3. Del Mar turf track widening approved
  4. Del Mar Fairgrounds to replace synthetic track with dirt
  5. Del Mar Thoroughbred Club releases statement concerning turf course

Short URL: http://www.delmartimes.net/?p=74793

Posted by Staff on Aug 13, 2014. Filed under Del Mar, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Leave a Reply

Archives

Facebook

Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6

LA JOLLA NEWS

RANCHO SANTA FE NEWS

RANCHO SANTA FE NEWS

RSS RANCHO SANTA FE NEWS

  • Community input received on proposed health club and pool facility in Rancho Santa Fe
    About 100 Rancho Santa Fe residents showed up on Friday, Oct. 17, for a health club and pool community meeting, the last outreach before ballots were mailed on Monday, Oct. 20. On the ballots, members are being asked whether the Rancho Santa Fe Association should spend $350,000 on a professional planning phase for the potential new community amenity. RSF Ass […]
  • Czech violin duo to perform at Village Church in Rancho Santa Fe
    In cooperation with the Consulate General of the Czech Republic, the Czech School San Diego hosts a free classical violin concert by internationally recognized Czech violin player Jaroslav Svecený and his daughter, Julie Svecená, who are on a tour of the United States. The concert will be at 7 p.m. Oct. 27 in the Village Church. The father-daughter duo will […]
  • Rancho Santa Fe weekly sports update
    Torrey Pines defeated Canyon Crest Academy 4-3 in a Palomar League opener for both teams on Oct. 9. Alayna Tomlinson and Farah Farjood each scored two goals to lead the Falcons. Samantha “Sammy” Cirino added one goal and one assist. […]