Bob Hope Stakes
Getty Grable Stakes
Breeders Cup Wrapup
Breeders Cup Saturday
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Race surface – One of the most notable differences between tracks is certainly within surface – dirt tracks tend to be the fastest of the surfaces and are particularly popular within the US with a good number of famous dirt races that take place throughout the year. Turf races are more popular across Europe, but weather can play a very large role in the way the surface performs and how different horses perform on these tracks too but take a lot of maintenance to keep in the highest quality. Synthetic tracks also exist but fewer in number, often considered to be safer and more consistent, but has a limited data set so may not be too reliable just yet. Given weather can play such a large role, location of certain tracks mean a track may be unsuitable for racing during certain periods of the year, and in perfect form at other times too.
Course configuration – This largely comes down to the shape of the track and something that can be changed and adjusted over time – for some of the most prestigious races that have been around for hundreds of years, these tracks are least likely to go through big changes, whereas the newer tracks may be subject to adjustments on a more regular basis. Given configuration can change the length and the way the track races as a whole, this is a very important aspect of the way the track behaves too.
Location will have a big impact – As noted with race surfaces, a location that may have months of rain before a dry spell may not be best suited for a dirt track as the ground may not be able to dry out in time, similarly the harsh weather can make maintaining a turf course more difficult too – cold winters could freeze the ground making winter running much harder, dry summers could make a turf course become unsuitable for racing for a while – these are all big considerations for what makes a good racetrack.
More eyes than ever are on horse racing as the sport is growing in popularity every year, and this may mean that new races are added to the racing calendar to offer yet more entertainment – and good racetrack design could make new races stand out ahead of many others.
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