NewsCovering Kentucky


Technology used to keep track safe for horses

Posted at 5:49 PM, Oct 18, 2019

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — We’re ten days into Keeneland’s fall meet, which means the dirt track is getting a lot of wear and tear. Variations in the track's surface can lead to injuries.

That's where different technology comes in handy.

"Once a day, they'll go out and they'll measure the cushion. They'll measure the moisture. They'll also document every piece of equipment that goes out there,” said Mick Peterson, a UK professor and Executive Director of the Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory.

One device measures moisture conditions and sends the data to a map, so officials can track wet and dry spots. This kind of technology is being used on tracks across the country, but at Keeneland, experts are working to get more up-to-date results. This means testing in between races instead of just once a day.

"All the way through the day, the surface needs to be consistent,” said Peterson. “Weather is changing, horses are traveling across it."

Having this frequently updated information will allow workers to adjust the consistency of the track as needed throughout the day.

”We want every step on the track to be the same surface the previous step was,” said Peterson.

Workers at Santa Anita in California are also using this technology more frequently throughout the day.