Changeover to dirt surface nearly done at Del Mar racetrack

DEL MAR, Calif. (AP) The change from an artificial surface to dirt on Del Mar's main track is nearly complete, with horses expected to train on it starting in mid-May.

About 31,000 tons of dirt has been put down on the one-mile oval to replace the synthetic Polytrack surface that was in place for eight years. The same dirt is currently used at Santa Anita in Arcadia.

Crews are expected to be done reinstalling the main track's inner rail by Friday. They will then adjust the outer rail, with some sections being extended upward by nearly a foot to meet safety standards. The winner's circle was raised to adjust for the new surface.

Track superintendent Richard Tedesco says horses will be able to train on the surface by May 15.

Del Mar opens its summer meet on July 16.

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