Keeneland's new dirt track is open and ready for training.
Just over three months after beginning a switch from synthetic Polytrack to dirt on its 1 1/16-mile main track, Keeneland debuted the surface Thursday morning. The conversion included installing a new drainage system and the facility will use GPS to monitor surface consistency for horse and rider safety.
Construction workers began removing 16,000 tons of Polytrack in mid-May to replace it with a 26,000-ton base layer of sand and a 19,000-ton mix of sand, silt and clay.
Track president and CEO Bill Thomason said in a release that "we are proud of the renovation and excited to welcome owners and trainers back to Keeneland."
Keeneland's fall meet runs Oct. 3-25 and will host next year's Breeders' Cup stakes races.