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Wittup On Century Track Resurfacing

Published: March 20, 2017 12:27 pm ET

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Century Downs kicked off its 2017 season of live harness racing this past Saturday. The card was the first pari-mutuel program at the Calgary-area oval since the track invested in resurfacing the track.

As an article on the Horse Racing Alberta website explains, Century Downs spent money and time during the offseason and added another three inches of surface to the track. The top dressing is now crushed limestone, and it is thought is that it will be a better surface for the horses.

The article, written by Peter Watts, states that horsemen are likely to experiment a bit with shoes to see how their charges respond to the grip they are able to get on the track. The early evidence is that horses aren’t slipping and sliding on the track, which definitely helps with keeping horses sound. Given the resurfacing, the track will take some time to knit together and dry out. As well, Corner 3 has been re-graded in order to ensure that there is a constant four-degree banking from the inner rail to the outer wall.

“It won’t make much difference off the start,” Century Downs Racing Secretary Jackson Wittup told Watts, “but it should make it possible for horses coming from off the pace to slingshot around the turn and challenge for the lead as they come to the stretch. And it means that the crown that was there in the middle of the track last year has now been removed and that’ll be good.”

(With files from HRA)


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