Breeders’ Cup breakthrough for turf going assessment stick

The addition of the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita “further endorses the GoingStick as an international standard for the assessment of turf courses.” Photo: Emily Shields

TurfTrax GoingStick readings will be available for Breeders’ Cup turf races for the first time this year in an innovative partnership with the specialist UK data provider.

TurfTrax, the Cambridgeshire-based technology company that developed the GoingStick in conjunction with the British racing industry, will provide enhanced information for inclusion in official going reports ahead of the world championships at Santa Anita on Friday and Saturday.

TurfTrax Managing Director Mike Maher said, “We are thrilled to be working with the team at Santa Anita and adding the prestigious Breeders’ Cup to the portfolio of major international racing festivals we support.   

“The global reach of the TurfTrax GoingStick now extends throughout America, Australasia, the South Pacific and Europe, further endorsing the GoingStick as an international standard for the assessment of turf courses.”

The process of implementation begins with site mapping when a reference grid will be created, ensuring that data is collected at the same points on the track each time readings are taken.  A total of three GoingStick readings are taken in every grid with each reading measuring penetration and shear, the two forces exerted by the horse’s hoof on the racing surface. Soil moisture measurements are also taken in each grid.

Detailed data, which can assist with track preparation where necessary, is presented in the form of a map that can be distributed by email and published via weblinks and social media. It is regarded as an important element of the communications strategy employed by major racecourses worldwide. 

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