02/10/2005 1:00AM

Turfway weighs new surface


Officials at Turfway Park and its managing partner, the Keeneland Association, say they are proceeding with preliminary plans that could result in a weather-resistant, synthetic Polytrack racing surface being laid as early as this summer.

"We are currently in the process of having an engineering firm look into the cost and other aspects of what we could incur if, in fact, we decide to have the track replaced," said Turfway's president, Bob Elliston.

Winter racing at Turfway, a one-mile track located in Florence, Ky., frequently is interrupted by cancellations. The track already has been forced to cancel most or all of itsnine programs since the winter-spring meet began Jan. 1.

A Polytrack surface has been in use for more than five months on the five-furlong Keeneland training track, said Rogers Beasley, Keeneland's director of racing, noting that response from trainers has been extremely positive.

Turfway runs through April 7. Its fall meet begins Sept. 7.