If we mix together the finest silica sand, wax, and fibres, then we'll get the unique "Tapeta" racing surface, invented by well-known U.S. synthetic manufacturer, Michael Dickinson.
And if we visit Gulfstream Park in September, we'll likely see this synthetic surface laid over the track end to end, built and ready for racing.
The Tapeta surface will replace the outer turf, and the work began Monday. The crews operating the dirt crane and tractors will proceed to dig up the outside turf course to install the new material.
This is one of several projects being undertaken by Gulfstream Park in order to improve racing conditions and enhance customer experience. Gulfstream Park also announced they are renovating their draining system on the inside of the turf course, and building a new infield tote board.
Gulfstream Park joins tracks such as Golden Gate Fields, Woodbine, and more recently, Turfway in subscribing to the Tapeta technology.
The Tapeta surface is designed to handle wet weather and heavy rainfall very well. It could be likened to Polytrack, for the characteristic of being fast and leaving basically no kick back. For a deeper analysis on this subject, read this article here.
Gulfstream Park expects to continue working on this "third racing surface" through August, with turf racing continuing throughout the project, save for races at five furlongs.
Perhaps with this new surface, Gulfstream Park can attract a diverse field of competitors for the 2022 Pegasus World Cup. The 2021 edition was more of a National than World Cup. Adding a synthetic course could even the playing field for newcomers, and make the race all the more attractive.
It's the same train of thought when Meydan Racecourse in Dubai, about five to six years ago, also raced over the Tapeta material, before ultimately switching back to Dirt Surface. They figured it would give American horses a fairer chance when they fly over to compete. Maybe we'll share that sentiment and attract the greatest field we've had so far. Time will tell.
Source: caanberry, Gulfstream Park Communications, Horse Racing Nation, Ryan Thompson, Coglianese Photo