The Brock Talk

Friday, May 1, 2009

Possbile Rain, Sloppy Track for Derby

I just received an e-mail from a friend at Churchill Downs saying the track is labled as sloppy for today's Kentucky Oaks card. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Admin...

Saturday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms, then showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm after 11am. Cloudy, with a high near 64. North wind around 9 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms. we might be looking at a sloppy track tomorrow for the Derby. However, the track crew at Churchill is one of the best and there have been many similar days at Churchill on Derby Day and the track crew somehow manages a fast track.

Having said that, should the track come up sloppy or muddy for tomorrow's race, it could help Friesan Fire. The Larry Jones trainee won the gr. 2 Louisiana Derby by 7-1/2 lengths in the slop at Fairgrounds Race Course in New Orleans over Papa Clem.

No other Derby contender has a race over an "off" track this year, so we don't know how they may react to the mud. We only know Friesan Fire loves it. I don't see me changing my trifecta ticket in the hope that the rain will cause Friesan Fire's odds to go down some, thus slightly increasing the odds of our selections.

More later today or early tonight...


Pete said...

Brock, they should be able to dump all that dry dirt on the track just before the race, right?

Brock said...

Surprisingly Pete, the amount of dirt it takes to redo a one-mile surface costs a lot more time and money than one would think. It would take days to complete a project like this and literally cost millions of dollars.

What the track crew does in a situation like this is seal the track (pack it down) as much as possible overnight and not open it up until they are sure weather conditions will help the track dry out. If it stops raining early, it will allow the crew to have more time to work. Once the races start however, they don't have much time.

But it is amazing what a track crew can do sometimes turning mud into dirt.