07/09/2011 9:24AM

Monmouth: Only the Battlefield on Turf


Three of the four races scheduled for  the turf today at Monmouth will instead be run on the fast main track, with the Battlefield Stakes the lone exception. The turf course is listed as "Soft" for the Battlefield Stakes.

While there was substantial precipitation Thursday (despite the brevity of the storm)turf racing was still on for Friday halfway through the card. Then, apparently based on the forecast, the 8th and 10th races were moved off the grass, despite the fact that it hadn't yet rained. Worse, the Pick 5 had already commenced, making the two grass races in the sequence a pair of "Alls" for wagering purposes.

Monmouth should be commended for that excellent rule but the way this course is treated is irritating. We're talking about a three-day schedule here each week, and races are being switched off before it even rains? To be fair, it did eventually rain yesterday, starting as a steady mist, progressing to a shower and picking up gradually into the early evening, but while the course is certainly wet it does seem that the warm weather would help dry the course out by 3:30, approximate post time for the 6th, which would have been the first grass race of the day. The way the sun is shining there's little chance the course will, in actuality, be "Soft" by 5:30, scheduled post time for the Battlefield, regardless of what they label it. Figure it'll be more toward "Good".