Keeneland has begun installation of the dirt racing surface on its
main track, the final step in the renovation project that is on schedule for completion next month.
Photo: Keeneland photo
surface material is a blend of approximately 19,000 tons of sand, silt
and clay native to Kentucky. It will be installed in three two-inch
layers to complete the six inches
of racing surface.
of the dirt surface marks the final stages of a project that has been
ongoing for more than a year, and includes extensive research and
testing of materials, water
drainage systems and design by Keeneland officials and a team of
The track renovation began May 19
with workers removing 16,000 tons of Polytrack to reach the layer of
porous asphalt that covers the existing vertical drainage system. The
was then covered by 720,000 square feet of Mirafi 140N geotextile
fabric. The fabric layer will maintain the integrity of the 26,000 tons
of limestone screenings (Class I sand) placed on top of it to form the
base of the race track.
construction of a new drainage system along the inside and outside
rails has been completed, creating a unique system that will work in
tandem with the drainage system that
was installed during the 2006 renovation.
the entire inside rail and along the outer rail through the straights
and chutes, interlocking EcoRain drainage cells filled with pea gravel
were stacked horizontally and
covered by a flexible porous paving material made from recycled tires.
This system, the first to be used at a race track, is designed to
collect and discharge water into the existing drainage system and away
from the track.