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Baffert Calls For Dirt Track Expertise
In the wake of the Breeders Cup meeting at Santa Anita Park in the US earlier this month, Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert has made a resounding plea to the racing bodies, encouraging them to consider and employ the science behind creating safe and effective surfaces. Conscious of the spate of equine fatalities at the track at the beginning of the year, the main track was loaded with extra sand for the renowned meeting as a precautionary measure. Unusually slow times and considerable kickback were reported, and unfortunately the measures did not prevent the death of one horse, Mongolian Groom. "Horses start to get tired when you have a deep, tiring track like that, and then fatigue sets in and that's when injuries can happen," Baffert told bloodhorse.com. "The focus should be on dirt surfaces. We need dirt. It's too hot for synthetics here, and slowing the track by two seconds is not the answer…I'd like to see The Jockey Club do some serious testing and hire the guys who build freeways. All we need is a mile done right." The Jockey Club has responded to Baffert's plea, reaffirming their commitment to improving tracks nationwide.