Former trainer Michael Dickinson, who with his wife owns Tapeta Footings, told a panel Wednesday the “revolution against dirt” over safety concerns has already started, and that it's unlikely racetracks will make the change to synthetics without political pressure.
As reported by the Daily Racing Form, Dickinson was part of some heated exchanges during a pair of panel discussions at the Global Symposium on Racing in Tucson, Ariz.
Citing data on the safety of synthetic surfaces versus dirt and the fact that North American tracks are holding more turf races each year, Dickinson said, “the revolution against dirt has already started, but some of you have not recognized it yet. . . . It's past its sell-by date.”
Dickinson also asked trainer Mark Casse to share his support for synthetic tracks, and according to DRF, Casse used the term “baloney” when rebutting the perception that soft-tissue injuries are more common on synthetic surfaces.
In closing his presentation, Dickinson said he did not believe racetracks would decide to install or return to synthetic surfaces on their own.
“It's going to be the politicians who are going to force the change,” he said.
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