More rain overnight means the tracks remain in a less than pristine condition. And this is why some tracks have replaced their dirt surfaces with a variety of synthetic products. What are these products and what is the impact on the punter?
The two most popular synthetic surfaces are Polytrack (Woodbine, Turfway, and Arlington) and Tapeta (Presque Isle and Golden Gate). The materials used include sand, recycled polymer fibers, wax, and other modifiers to give a consistent surface for racing. Several other high profile facilities tried synthetic surfaces for a period between 2005 and 2015 but have gone back to dirt surfaces. The advantages to the synthetic surfaces are (supposed to be?) better regularity, resistance to absorbing water and becoming muddy, less kick back, and easier maintenance. They have delivered in varying amounts on each of these.
For the punter, and all of the past performance providers have embraced this, synthetic tracks need to be considered as their own category of surface and not combined with dirt or turf. Widely accepted wisdom is that many turf horses perform better on synthetic than they do on dirt which has influenced many connections at Woodbine to skew their purchases to turf horses. Although this is a solid consideration, there are some sire lines that are becoming recognized as synthetic sires. These are the ones that Mick will focus on as we continue this discussion.
Weather: Rainy and then clearing with a breeze. In total, more challenges for the track superintendents since making the harrowing decision may be tough.
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Parx Race 5 (2:43 p.m. ET)
7-Lay It On the Line is a firster for a solid first out operation. The works have been pedestrian but there is not much to beat in this race. 12-Fontana Di Oro will improve as a 3 year old for a trainer that has snuck some winners by at big prices recently. This one may not be fully wound but the works are solid and outside may be perfect on an off surface. The pedigree is rock solid for the off going. 6-Komrad is hard to like and hard to ignore. He has had many chances but can’t close the deal. Look for him underneath again. 5-He’s Incredible is in the hands of a really good claiming trainer and gets raised which is a huge sign of confidence by the conditioner.
Parx Race 5
$10 W/P/S 7-Lay It On the Line
$2 Exacta box 7,12
$1 Trifecta box 6,7,12
$0.10 Superfecta box 5,6,7,12
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Parx Race 10 (4:58)
Should be a fast track by this point in the day. As a result, this becomes a far more wide open race. 1-Articulator and 6-Drosslemagic are coming off first level allowance scores for solid next out trainers. 7-Sparticle returns to trainer Mike Pino after a run in NY where he was on the pace and faded with better. Look for the return to Parx to help this one and the tight track, even if harrowed, should help this one see the trip out. The last furlong may be dicey. Late running 4-Cozy Lover comes by to pick up the pieces.
Parx Race 10
$10 W/P/S 7-Sparticle
$2 Exacta box 6,7
$1 Trifecta box 1,6,7
$0.10 Superfecta box 1,4,6,7
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Parx Race 2 (1:22): 6-Threethehardway has a name that Mick can’t figure out but everything else is positive. Trainer gets number one jock at Delaware to come up for the day
Parx Race 4 (2:16): 1-Charming Indy was rock solid for his last barn and shows up here off the claim at a distance he has won at recently. Will look to control the race from the rail if the track collaborates.