The track is safe - racing secretary
RACING secretary Denzil Miller has assured STAR Sports that horsemen have nothing to fear about the resurfaced track at Caymanas Park.
Only a handful of horses cantered yesterday morning as horsemen seemed wary of the speed with which the track was reopened after almond-size stones were found in the freshly laid sand near the winning post on Tuesday.
Miller had, however, told STAR Sports he and his team were working "until as late as possibe" to have the surface ready for horses to resume exercising on Wednesday.
He said there was no need for alarm as the resanding process was still under way when the stones were found because there was a setback by rains at the weekend.
"Those have been removed," he reassured. "We've been doing this since Saturday. The screening (for stones) started early Sunday. We run the screener through the surface every month or so. This is the same equipment we had purchased some 15 years ago. We use it at intervals, as the need arises," he pointed out.
Miller said the entire oval, nine furlongs in total, and the five-straight chute, has been replenished by 1500 cubic yard of what he described as "dune sand" from St Elizabeth.
"It is the same sand we had used to rebuild the track years ago, 1998. We were two inches below the grade point. We hadn't put on any meaningful amount of sand since the Chin See board, about 2008 or 09," he said.
Miller explained that the reason for resanding the surface was to mitigate against the shock returned to horses delicate legs whenever they pound the track with more than 1000 pounds of bodyweight.
"The effect is when you get too close to the sub-base, that compacted base, we're riding too close. We want to reduce any kind of concussion. For every force down, there is an equal force up, so we're trying to reduce to that," he said.
Sand from the racetrack, the racing secretary pointed out, is lost by "people walking horses, trucks, tractors, wind, the rain".
"It's all part of everyday wear and tear as well as nature," he said.
The local racing season is in the middle of the three-year-old classics. Racing continues at Caymanas Park this Saturday.