As of Tuesday, Laurel Park has completed its multi-million dollar renovation, and has reopened for training over the track. The reconstruction of the dirt surface by the Maryland Jockey Club took four months. They replaced the existing cushion, base and substructure for an "entirely new cushion on top of a newly laid base, with subsurface drainage improvements." They had closed the main track on April 11th as a necessary condition for ongoing maintenance.
"Using the opportunity of the temporary pause on racing this spring to invest in a complete main track rehabilitation has resulted in a superior racing and training surface at Laurel Park which will serve in the best interests of year-round racing in Maryland for many years to come." said Dennis Moore, Senior Track Superintendent, 1/st Racing.
Trainers were permitted to work their horses as early as August 10th. The feedback has been positive. Trainer Jose Corrales, who galloped approximately 15 horses on Tuesday, said that he heard, from listening to everybody from different stables, that the track was very good and very even. Corrales said he didn't hear one negative thing, from anybody nor from his riders. And that the renovators did a very good job, that it looks very even, despite yesterday's crazy rain.
Trainer Anthony ‘TJ' Aguirre Jr. said he was really happy the way his horses were skipping over the track, switching leads. No stumbling problems or loose footing problems. Aguirre Jr. also commented about the rain, saying the track was really good for as much rain as they got.
"I thought it had a good amount of cushion", Aguirre Jr. said.
"We would like to thank the Maryland horsemen, jockeys and the backstretch teams for their patience and support while we affected this important remediation of the track surface," said Aidan Butler, Chief Operating Officer, 1/ST RACING.
"The investment made by 1/ST RACING and the Maryland Jockey Club reflect our company's commitment to delivering best-in-class racing and training for our stakeholders in Maryland. Today, we are thrilled to welcome horsemen back to Laurel Park as we prepare for what is shaping up to be a competitive and entertaining fall meet."
Tune in for Laurel Park's fall meet which begins September 9th. They have a $3.525 million stakes schedule in store. For more information, visit their website here.
Source: Maryland Jockey Club, Horse Racing Nation