Off The Turf

Rob Carr

A summary of races taken off the turf over the past year at Belmont, Fair Grounds, Gulfstream Park and Santa Anita.

Just a quick post on some data I pulled recently --

After Santa Anita took a couple of days of races off the turf a couple of weeks ago, I was curious to see how many times several of the major tracks ended up moving races to the main track over the past year. I pulled the race data for Belmont, Fair Grounds, Gulfstream Park and Santa Anita, and sorted the races into several categories.

*I'd like to add data from Arlington, Churchill, Calder and Tampa at some point when I've got a few hours to kill.

These numbers encompass the last year of racing at each of these track (thru roughly the end of January).

Condition BEL FG GP SA
Total Races 869 893 955 853
Main Track 507 743 544 572
Dirt Sloppy/Muddy 108 84 57 19
Turf 361 150 408 281
% Turf 41.5% 16.8% 42.7% 32.9%
Off Turf 109 108 24 23
Good Turf 95 80 25 16
Yielding Turf 42 16 4 0
Soft Turf 2 0 0 0
Total Sched. Turf 470 258 432 304
% Off Turf 23.2% 41.9% 5.6% 7.6%

Not surprisingly, both Gulfstream and Santa Anita take very few races off the turf during their meets. Belmont lost about a quarter of its scheduled turf races in the past year, while the Fair Grounds has moved over 40% of its grass races to the main track, an astounding number.

Fair Grounds has dealt with a lot of issues with their turf course over the past year due to a combination of a lot of wet weather and what appears to be some drainage issues. Even with over 40% of their grass races coming off the turf, they have still run over half of their turf races on ground rated "Good" or "Yielding".

I'm a little surprised at the number of races Belmont takes off the grass considering they have two completely separate turf courses (as opposed to the portable rail split at tracks like Gulfstream and Arlington); almost a quarter "off the turf" seems like a really high number.

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