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Old 11-25-2023, 10:31 AM   #1
upthecreek
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CD $10 Million dollar Turf course

https://www.drf.com/news/churchill-p...remainder-meet
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Old 11-25-2023, 11:06 AM   #2
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Almost impossible to believe.

This is like a long running SNL skit.
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Old 11-25-2023, 11:45 AM   #3
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This is a bit perplexing.

Did they change the type of grass they are using?
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Old 11-25-2023, 01:10 PM   #4
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From a Bloodhorse article about the new turf course after its debut on opening day of Churchill's 2023 Spring Meet:

Quote:
New Turf Course Debuts at Churchill Downs

The track's $10 million lawn was on display April 30 on opening night.


By Gregory A. Hall April 30, 2022
Quote:
The old mix was four-inch high Kentucky 31 Fescue (90%) and Bluegrass (10%) grown in a three-inch topsoil layer over a 13-inch course masonry sand base. The new course is Tahoma 31 Bermudagrass overseeded with ryegrass.

"We did a bunch of research through our consultants and our turf experts and determined this blend, which is known to be a cooler weather Bermuda, is going to be the right grass for here, the right grass for Churchill Downs, because of its strength resilience to cold weather and tolerance to wear," Ziegler said.

Track officials have said the new course has a redesigned subsurface with a six-inch upper root zone layer created with a blended mix of topsoil and grit sand that sits on a six-inch lower sand layer constructed with masonry sand.
I don't have any special insights related to impact from type of grass or soil mixture beneath the grass.

However, I do have data suggesting the new turf course is less speed favoring than the old course.

Also, from a purely a subjective visual assessment on my part that is also borne out by stats:

The few foreign shippers so far that have run over the new course appear to have handled it well.

As have horses shipping in from Saratoga.



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Last edited by Jeff P; 11-25-2023 at 01:13 PM.
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Old 11-25-2023, 04:03 PM   #5
classhandicapper
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The old mix was four-inch high Kentucky 31 Fescue (90%) and Bluegrass (10%)
I have limited knowledge of grass seeds from my annual failed attempts at growing lawns in both Queens and Dutchess County, but that's a really nice mix. That's more or less what I am trying now. The Fescue is tough and the Bluegrass spreads and fills in bare spots well. Maybe I can run some races in my backyard if CD is stilling failing with the Bermuda and Rye.
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Old 11-25-2023, 04:27 PM   #6
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Well, that is great news for.....ELLIS PARLK!!!
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Old 11-25-2023, 06:30 PM   #7
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Aside from Colonial Downs (purchased November 2022), name a single turf surface that CDI has maintained and used for regular racing over in the last two full years. (First one naming the Fair Grounds gets hit with a salt-water filled balloon.)

If one asked a group of consultants to put together a strategy to kill horse racing from the inside out, destroying all of your available turf courses would have been a bingo square not on my card. Makes one wonder what the magic formula to kill the grass in Virginia will be.

Kentucky horsemen should be walking away from this product in droves until CDI spends every dime needed to fix what they have clearly broken.

Paraphrasing from "The Big Short", just how much exposure does CDI to the synthetic surface manufacturers?
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Old 11-26-2023, 12:15 PM   #8
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Aside from Colonial Downs (purchased November 2022), name a single turf surface that CDI has maintained and used for regular racing over in the last two full years. (First one naming the Fair Grounds gets hit with a salt-water filled balloon.)
Easy, Arlington Park in 2021. Oh, wait.
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Old 11-26-2023, 04:28 PM   #9
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Feel like I was reading/hearing positive things expressed about how well Horseshoe Indianapolis's turf course held up over the course of the season. That track is pretty close to Churchill, with a fairly identical climate (as opposed to putting a Colonial Downs style mix in at Churchill just based on latitude).

I know their recently retired Track Superintendent, Roy Smith, has been the one organizing the Track Superintendent "Field Days" held each year - maybe CD should coax him out of retirement.

https://paulickreport.com/news/peopl...novator-award/
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Old 11-26-2023, 05:32 PM   #10
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waiting for them to blame Baffert
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Old 11-26-2023, 06:30 PM   #11
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The obvious snark is that CDI - the largest horse racing enterprise in the US, which runs the most prestigious race known by the general public, and runs a track in the state literally known as the "Bluegrass State" - can't maintain a turf course. Seriously, WTF?

Is there a number of X years that a turf course needs to take complete hold from a sod installation, and CDI is simply on the wrong side of X?

Were there weather conditions too which prevented this course from establishing itself in the soil?

I've seen residential sod installations go sideways but have no clue whether this situation is analogous.
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Old 11-26-2023, 09:05 PM   #12
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The obvious snark is that CDI - the largest horse racing enterprise in the US, which runs the most prestigious race known by the general public, and runs a track in the state literally known as the "Bluegrass State" - can't maintain a turf course. Seriously, WTF?

Is there a number of X years that a turf course needs to take complete hold from a sod installation, and CDI is simply on the wrong side of X?

Were there weather conditions too which prevented this course from establishing itself in the soil?

I've seen residential sod installations go sideways but have no clue whether this situation is analogous.
It doesn't seem to be time. We laid the outer turf at Aqueduct and it was good in less than a year. No reason things should be worse in KY. However, it's not like Churchill was cheap. Hard to know what went wrong. Not worth speculating.

It's an unfortunate situation. Even if you don't care about Churchill, having turf racing is better for everyone, bettors, owners, and horsemen. Feels like they are going to start over again. Lots of frustration there.

The whole thing makes me glad, once again, that we have Glen Kozak at NYRA.
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Old 11-27-2023, 10:04 AM   #13
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Don't think it's the turf course itself but some portions of it where the foundation is bad. Considering the issues with the main track this summer one has to wonder if the extensive construction involved with their the new paddock area may tie into both.
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Old 11-27-2023, 01:06 PM   #14
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Smile

Maybe it's time for CDI to do a quick marketing switch for Derby 150 Day - Throwback Derby!

- NO grass racing since the turf course wasn't installed until 1985, eleven years after the 100th Derby.

- Dress as you would have if you had attended the 1st (1875), 50th (1924), or 100th Derbies - bowler hats and bustle skirts next to flappers next to polyester leisure suits!

- All Derby entrants must have started at least 9 times at age 2, so we can get a throwback winner. (Aristides had 9 starts, Black Gold 18, and Cannonade 17 !)

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Old 11-27-2023, 01:27 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by classhandicapper View Post
I have limited knowledge of grass seeds from my annual failed attempts at growing lawns in both Queens and Dutchess County, but that's a really nice mix. That's more or less what I am trying now. The Fescue is tough and the Bluegrass spreads and fills in bare spots well. Maybe I can run some races in my backyard if CD is stilling failing with the Bermuda and Rye.

Kentucky 31 is the only thing I've used living in Lexington for 20+ years. I don't run races on it, though my Great Danes (throughout the years) are pretty rough on it and it holds up well.
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