Gulfstream Park is set to make history with its new Tapeta addition, becoming the first pari mutuel facility in America with three distinct racing surfaces. The installation is nearly complete. Workers began laying the Tapeta over the base of the track late last week. The video footage is shown below.
Gulfstream Park will permit horses to jog and gallop over the Tapeta as soon as the inner safety rail is installed. We can expect races to be carded on the innovative, all-weather surface beginning on the week of September 23rd.
The installation of the Tapeta surface amounts to a multi-million dollar project, which also included adding a new draining system. Tapeta is a training surface made of select mixtures of silica sand, wax, and fibres. It's designed to handle wet weather and heavy rainfall extremely well. Read more about the innovation in greater detail here.
Taken all together, Gulfstream can conduct racing with three racing surfaces: a 1 1/8 mile first track, a 7/8 -mile turf course, and a 1 mile-and-70-yard Tapeta track.
The total effort continues 1/ST Racing and Gulfstream Park's expressed commitments to the safety of its athletes, and its investment in state-of-the-art technology.
"The Tapeta surface is a truly exciting addition to Gulfstream Park," said Aidan Butler, COO of 1/ST Racing. "The three unique surfaces plus the new drainage system will allow many options for the horsemen, provide bettors interesting wagering opportunities, and protect our turf course during inclement weather. We are very much looking forward to this new chapter in Gulfstream's history and thank everyone for all their hard work in getting it done."
"The new Tapeta track is a significant advancement for Gulfstream Park," Florida HBPA President Stephen Screnci said. "It creates flexibility that will benefit our horsemen in a number of ways. It will be easier to preserve the turf course. There will be more opportunity to run when races are rained off the turf, and more options in the condition book. Perhaps most important, fewer scratches in off-the-turf races generates increased handle and increased purses. This is good news for South Florida racing."
Source: Gulfstream Park