Cold Weather Doesn’t Stop Training
The main track was busy this morning despite the cold weather. Turtlenecks, earmuffs and an extra layer or two were the norm as exercise riders and jockeys made their way back and forth to the track. More than 40 horses recorded official workouts.
The track surface underwent reconditioning last fall. About 4000 tons of #42 mason sand was added to the surface according to track superintendent Ian Gamble. The organics were also altered. Peat moss was replaced with decomposed pine bark. “It breaks down into strands and provides more bounce and spring,” Gamble said.
How it will impact the horseplayer is yet to be seen. This track has always favored speed in sprints up to six furlongs. Last season the average beaten lengths at the second call was less than two lengths. At the 6 ½ furlong distance the power of early speed diminished and horses were able to win from farther off the pace.
Troy Bethke, a trainer that takes his own horses to the track, had favorable reviews. “The track surface is very kind,” he said.
Paul Nolan has been busy here since the track opened for training and has found that because of the weather it has been difficult for the track crew to find consistency with the surface. “It’s been cold and frozen,” he said, “but the days that it wasn’t, the track was very good.”
Trainers and horses are arriving daily. Here is a list, albeit not comprehensive, of trainers now here. Harvey Berg, Bethke, Mike Biehler, Francisco Bravo, James Cook, Kevin Danger, Tammy Domenosky, Justin Evans, Ralph Haglund, Vic Hanson, Todd Hoffrogge, Nevada Liftin, Jamie Ness, Tim Padilla, Bryan Porter, Red Rarick, Bernell Rhone, Bruce Riecken, Mac Robertson, Gary Scherer, Dave Van Winkle, Ernie Witt.
New faces include: Turf Paradise leading trainer Keith Bennett, Dave Bernhardt, and Shawn Talbot.
……….Entries for Saturday’s opening day program will be taken on Wednesday