Gulfstream Park met with engineers on Tuesday to plan how they can include a third track surface to the facility. The Tapeta surface will be installed over what is now the outer 60 feet of the turf course. This will provide them with two rail settings on the inner turf, according to Bill Badgett in an interview with DRF's Mike Welsch.
"It's going to happen. Right now, we're just trying to find a time frame to implement the project that will be least disruptive to our racing schedule," said Badgett.
The Tapeta surface was created by Tapeta Footings, a company that has locations in both Maryland and the UK. It is comprised of a mixture of fine silica sand, wax and fibers. The surface is designed to simulate the root structure of turf. The surface provides for year round racing and training, no matter how heavy the rainfall is. According to the company, the training track at trainer James Ewart's yard in Scotland can receive over 100 inches of rain per year and the training facility loses no training days. Similarly, the Tapeta Farm in Maryland received 11 inches of rain during Hurricane Floyd and the facility was able to continue with training. With continuous research and study, the surface is one of the safest in the industry.
Several tracks utilize the surface. Presque Isle Downs Racecourse in Pennsylvania was the first track in the US to utilize the footing, opening in 2007. Golden Gate Fields installed Tapeta in 2007 as well. Woodbine replaced their synthetic Polytrack surface in 2015 with Tapeta.