Some horsemen say they’ve seen little improvement in track conditions
By J.J. Hysell
Last week, reports surfaced that there were issues with the Ellis Park racing surface involving large rocks scattered across the track.
The track was closed for training Saturday and Sunday so special equipment could be used to extricate the rocks, but horsemen on-site reported to In the Money Monday that the track’s condition has not improved.
One local horseman said the track “is worse than it was before the weekend.”
A source said trainer Larry Jones has pulled some of the horses he had stabled at the track because of the track conditions.
Ellis Park general manager Bob Jackson said a crew from Maryland used equipment on the track from 9:30 a.m. Saturday until late Sunday night. He said all of the track was covered during the process except the outside left rail. The track also has its own scanning equipment it is using to continue the clearing process.
“We’re in pretty good shape,” Jackson said. “We’re concentrating on the outside areas.”
In addition, groups of people have been going over the track picking up rocks and putting them in buckets.
Jackson said a storm Monday that dumped several inches of rain on the area affected the maintenance efforts. The track is normally closed to training on Monday and was closed on Tuesday because of the rain. It is expected to open for training on Wednesday.
“By the end of the day, the track should pretty well be back to normal,” Jackson said.
Jackson said trainers told him the track was much improved before the work began.
“We’re going to make it right,” he said.
Ellis Park is slated to begin its 29-day meet on July 4.