08/29/2006 11:00PM

No seven-furlong Polytrack races until job ends

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Woodbine will not conduct any seven-furlong races over its new Polytrack surface until the finishing touches are put on the chute, according to Chris Evans, Woodbine's vice president of Thoroughbred racing.

Two races carded for seven furlongs on Friday were switched to 6 1/2 furlongs.

The Muskoka and the Simcoe, two of the six $125,000 yearling sales stakes to be run here on Monday's Labor Day program, will be shortened from seven to 6 1/2 furlongs, as will the Grade 3, $150,000 Seaway for fillies and mares here on Sept. 9.

"The problem is that in behind they've got some barriers there, to protect the horses, because Polytrack's not finished right down to the end of the chute," Evans said Wednesday.

"But the barriers are only about eight feet behind the gate. So if you've got a horse that goes around and walks right in, that's fine. But if there's any horse that gives you a problem, they're backed up against these barriers. It's too risky."

Evans explained that the macadam, which is the final sub-layer upon which the Polytrack material is laid, had not been put down on the last 30 feet of the chute.

That work is scheduled to be done Sept. 11 through Sept. 13.