02/18/2011 7:09PM

Fair Grounds: Time to reevaluate grass course is now


Just watched Hands On win race 1 on Friday evening at Fair Grounds, as leg 3 of the season's Starlite Racing programs gets underway. They gotta run the turf races early on these twilight cards due to poor lighting of the turf course when night fully falls, so the card is front-loaded with grass racing. Making this a good time to drum home an important point: This is not the same grass course we've been looking at so far this meet.

On Monday, FG instituted a policy of rolling the grass (that's heavy machinery, like you'd see on a road-construction project) pushing down into the turf, flattening it, evening it out. The effect seems clear: Speed holds far, far better on a rolled FG lawn than it has the rest of this meet. Hands On led all the way, and while there's not an overwhelming speed bias, pace horses already have experienced about as much turf success this week alone as they had for two months! Just something to keep in mind with a big day of racing at hand tomorrow.

Heading over from lodging nearby track to the press box. The irony is that by going in to work I can't do any Inside Posting: The internet-connections system in the FG press box is nonexistant, and whatever rogue router I'm plugging into won't let me accesss the DRF network required to post on this blog.

So, adieu.