01/14/2011 3:02PM

Fair Grounds: Less frosty Friday, fast fractions in 1st

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Main track fast. Turf yielding with rail 20 feet out.
Cloudy, 48 degrees. Light northeast (cross/head) wind.

Cold, but nowhere near as cold as Thursday, when races were scrapped because of a section of frozen track. The question now: Have extreme weather conditions produced radical track conditions? That comes up because race 1 was unlike any race the last two weeks. Winner Couric, basically running off early, set splits of 23.74, 47.28, and 1:12.51, a pace that, in a $5K N3L route claimer at FG, is supposed to lead to a total collapse. This didn't happen at all. Couric never was challenged, with rail-skimming stalker Betsy Laverne second and rail-rallying deep closer Cnola third. Winning time for one mile 70 yards was 1:44.70, way fast for this class level. Quite interested to see where the main track goes from here.

Turf is called yielding, and note rail in outermost path, 20 feet from "zero" position.