Woodbine – The Player’s Track

Second in a series

By ART PARKER

Congratulations to Woodbine for a successful Queen’s Plate day. The Toronto track fought the weather and performed well in making Canada’s biggest racing day a success.

Last week I mentioned how fantastic the Woodbine broadcasting staff does with commentary, racing analysis and public information. They did a great job on Queen Plate’s day. The public was receiving constant updates on the weather, which changed several times during the course of the day. One of the things I appreciated the most was the paddock commentary, complete with explanations how the increased humidity and heat may be playing a role on the outward look of some horses. The paddock commentary is always superb at Woodbine and Queen’s Plate day was no exception.

When the monsoon hit Toronto in mid-afternoon, the broadcast crew continued with updates and suggested to patrons to be prepared for any changes, and yes, some changes did occur. The race before the Queen’s Plate was taken of the turf, a last minute decision because of the downpour the track received within a couple of hours before the Queen’s Plate. Instead of just making the announcement the Woodbine broadcast crew described the process of how racing officials walked the turf course, taking close examination of the surface and weighing options. When the decision came it was clear that the best decision was made and that safety of the horses and riders was the primary reason. The point of all of this is that I felt I was getting some good news coverage instead of just an announcement. I appreciate the Woodbine effort.

Next from the broadcast crew came the explanation of how the track crew would get the Polytrack surface prepared for the Queen’s Plate. I do not know the intricacies of Polytrack maintenance, but I learned quickly that the crew was working rapidly to make sure there would be as much drainage of the track as possible before the big race. All of this worked well and the Queen’s Plate went off without a hitch. I thoroughly enjoyed it even though I failed to cash a ticket on the big race.

If you still haven’t played Woodbine take some time and visit the track website. It provides a great introduction to the track and you will see the large amount of good information available.

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