07/17/2008 2:17AM

Much Faster

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When Del Mar officials said earlier this week that their newly-tweaked Polytrack would probably produce faster times this year, they weren't kidding: Wednesday's five opening-day main-track races established three track records -- by two maidens and a $10k claimer -- and went an average of 38 Beyer points faster than the ones on last year's very similar opening-day lineup

*The first, third and fifth races Wednesday established new track records for the 1-mile, 6-furlong and 5 1/2-furlong distances;

*The average raw Beyer Speed Figure for the five Polytrack races was 57 in 2007 and 95 in 2008;

*The average raw time for the two six-furlong races on both cards was 1:13.37 in 2007 and 1:10.57 in 2008;

*I'm only guessing at a variant of -20 for Wednesday's card, but that would be a 38-point difference from last year's +18 -- matching the 38-point difference in raw times and giving both cards nearly identical average BSF's of 75 for the five Poly races. [Update: Chart has been revised to reflect the official BSF variant for the day of -19.]

Faster did not necessarily mean easier: Nobody picked six Wednesday, and there's a $153k carryover into Thursday's Day Two card.