The final sections of sod were laid last week completing the seven-furlong Kentucky Bluegrass course at Woodbine Racetrack. The posts will be installed next over the coming weeks and the rail will follow to complete the project.
“Before we race on it, there still has to be a fair bit of growth to the actual sod that was put down and the root has to strength up a lot,” explained Irwin Driedger, Director of Thoroughbred Racing Surfaces & Fleet. “So that’s the critical part, but that’s mostly up to Mother Nature this fall and next spring.”
Plans remain on track for Woodbine to host additional turf racing next year pending the growth and maturation of the second grass course.
“With the addition of this world-class inner turf track to complement our suite of turf assets including the E.P. Taylor Turf Course, we will be able to offer more turf racing opportunities and flexibility to our local horsemen and visiting competitors,” said Jonathan Zammit, VP of Thoroughbred Racing Operations.
Woodbine has hosted more than 290 turf races including 37 stakes over the renowned E.P. Taylor Turf Course through the first 100 days of the 2018 Thoroughbred racing season. Among the highlights were four Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup ‘Win And You’re In’ events and this month’s Grade 1 Pattison Canadian International and E.P. Taylor Stakes won by European stars Desert Encounter and Sheikha Reika.
Here’s a look at Woodbine’s new inner turf course: