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For California Synth Stars, No Fears With Churchill Surface Switch

While many Europeans and locally based West Coast connections were happy to see Breeders’ Cup 2008 and 2009 in Los Angeles, many East Coast-based trainers were less than enthusiastic, because of the lack of a conventional dirt surface. Hall of Fame conditioner Nick Zito, for example, had no runners in either in 2008 or 2009.


In 2008 there were 21 horses making their synthetic track debut at the Breeders’ Cup. Of those, only one horse won (Raven’s Pass in the Classic — and he was a European turf horse). In 2009 every main track winner had prior synthetic track experience.


Clearly since the advent of synthetic surfaces it has been an easier transition going from synthetic to dirt than vice versa. With this years’ Breeders’ Cup at Louisville it may hinder the Europeans as far as their main track runners are concerned, but I foresee the Californians having no issue at all.

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