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Synthetic Wars

Following the first Dubai World Cup card to feature the main track races run over a synthetic surface, Daily Racing Form Publisher Steven Crist penned a piece criticizing the chaotic results over the Tapeta surface and synthetic racing in general.  Crist begins his post with the following quote:

The richest horse race in history was staged in Dubai earlier today, and it was a $10 million advertisement for how synthetic surfaces can make a complete mess of so-called world-class championship racing. For all that it proved about the quality of the contestants either individually or as a group, the results of the Dubai World Cup might as well have been drawn out of a hat.    

Nick Kling, turf writer for The Record in Troy, New York, responded to Crist's piece yesterday with his own take.  In it he presents his view of the events at Meydan.

Crist's contention the World Cup outcome was a 'crapshoot' is ludicrous on its face. The top three finishers in the race had been separated by one and one-quarter lengths in the primary prep for the race, the March 4 Maktoum Challenge, over the same Meydan course at the same distance as the World Cup. Fourth-place finisher Gio Ponti was about one and one-quarter lengths behind the World Cup winner, a similar margin to his one length loss to Zenyatta in the Breeders' Cup Classic.    

No matter where you stand on the synthetic debate, I think you'll find both pieces entertaining.