The performance of the Mawsafe safety rail on the inside of Keeneland’s turf course aced a tough test Friday during the running of the Grade 3, $150,000 Pin Oak Valley View when second choice Daddy Is a Legend emerged unscathed from a potentially disastrous situation.
Turning for home, Daddy Is a Legend challenged Cool Beans for the lead while racing on the inside under Manny Franco. The two fillies raced as a team until just before the sixteenth pole when Daddy Is a Legend ducked through the inner rail, which collapsed on impact.
Franco stayed on Daddy Is a Legend, now on the left side of the rail in the infield, while the race continued and Colonia won by a half-length. Franco and Daddy Is a Legend slowed to a walk, and Franco dismounted. A Keeneland outrider led the filly to the main track, and she walked back to trainer George Weaver’s barn.
“What we saw yesterday proved the positive safety aspects we saw on video when we selected the Mawsafe rail: how the rail is put together and how it works to protect horse and rider,” Keeneland President and CEO Bill Thomason said.
In 2016, Keeneland installed the Mawsafe rail, a lightweight system from Australia. One safety feature is its horizontal PVC rail that springs and bends to absorb the impact of a horse and rider. This top rail offers stability while the uprights “kick out” on impact.
The Mawsafe rail also allows Keeneland to change the running lanes on the turf course by positioning the rail at zero, 10, 15 and 20 feet from the inside to reduce wear and tear on the turf course.
It is just one example of the latest technology and innovation Keeneland employs in its racing operations to ensure the safety of human and equine athletes.
“It’s why we do what we do,” Thomason said. “Seeing the Mawsafe rail perform as it was intended to ensure the safety of Daddy Is a Legend and her jockey yesterday was extremely rewarding.”
Weaver reported by phone Saturday that Daddy Is a Legend “just had a couple of scratches but nothing major. It will take a couple of days to see if anything shows up.”
Weaver said if the filly bounces out of the Pin Oak Valley View fine, the $300,000 Matriarch (G1) against older horses going a mile at Del Mar Dec. 2 could be an option. Or she could get the rest of the year off to prepare for a 4-year-old campaign.