Fair Hill: Wood Chip and Barbaro
Overnight rain had the main dirt track at Fair Hill a muddy mess on friday morning. Michael Matz sent Barbaro over to the wood chip track for his routine gallop (he looked great galloping about a mile and a quarter).
The seven eights of a mile wood chip track is like a sponge as it absorbs any rain fall and enables you to continue with any planned training program.
Some horses relish the forgiving surface, and horses returning from injury are able to get back to full fitness without as much discomfort.
This innovative artificial surface was the selling point of Fair Hill way back when the fledgling training center was struggling to stay afloat. Currently the wave is a tsunami of trainers wanting to be here. Projected plans maybe to switch to the latest artificial footing called 'Polytrack' and be at the forefront of the racing needs on the east coast. Several major racetracks have made a change to race on this surface in the interests of horse safety. Fair Hill continues to put the horseman's needs first and they in turn are able to reap the rewards.