03/28/2007 11:00PM

Arlington trackwork goes on

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Arlington Park began the installation of its Polytrack cushion material on Thursday, a process that is expected to take about two weeks, according to track spokesman David Zenner. After the cushion is in place, it will take another week or so to till the material into shape.

The Arlington backstretch is scheduled to open on April 23, with training to begin two days later. The 94-day meet begins May 4.

The Polytrack cushion material being used at Arlington is identical to the mixture at Keeneland and varies slightly from Turfway Park's Polytrack. Arlington began the $11 million process of converting its main track last December by removing the existing surface, including the base. A new drainage system was then installed, which was topped by a porous macadam surface. Seven inches of compact Polytrack come next, and then a three-inch cushion of loose Polytrack.