The Red Mile’s president and CEO Joe Costa announced Friday morning that the accuracy of the teletimer has been recertified and that the famed racetrack will also be surveyed—as soon as Friday afternoon and no later than Monday—to ensure accuracy in its circumference before the two-week Grand Circuit stand begins Tuesday, Sept. 23.
A representative of American Teletimer has been at the track in Lexington, Ky. the past few days checking the accuracy of the timing device—most specifically the third quarter timer—which had been questioned by trainers and drivers as well as noted in blog postings and in a Wire To Wire Column written by Andrew Cohen in the Sept. 17 issue of The Horseman.
“It came to our attention, especially during qualifiers, when horses were coming home excessively fast last quarters that we had a timer problem,” Costa told harnessracing.com. “Some trainers indicated that they thought they heard the third quarter clicking about a second after they were past it. We called American Teletimer and had them immediately come down and they now inform us that they have repaired the problem. They have been on site and monitoring its performance and have given it a clean bill of health.”
Costa said although there may have been incorrect third-quarter timings, he believes that the track is precisely one mile around, and that the upcoming survey will bear that out.
“I can’t emphasize enough that the complete time has never been in question,” said Costa. “The timer malfunction seemed to indicate some last quarters were faster than they should have been, but the absolute time of the completion of the race was correct. Any regard to the track being short is absolutely and categorically denied by the racetrack.”
Costa said after conferring with Greg and Dan Coon of Charles E. Coon & Sons, a call was made to the same Lexington-based surveying company that certified the track in 2000 when the current ownership group took over.
“The reason we are doing this is because we recognize that The Red Mile is held to a higher standard in the history of our sport, considering all the world records and considering the historic position that this institution has held in our industry,” said Costa.
One possible assault on the all-time world record is expected to come from Somebeachsomewhere, whose connections stated all year they were bypassing the Little Brown Jug in lieu of having the colt in peak condition for such an effort.
Trainer and co-owner Brent MacGrath told harnessracing.com he expects to ship Somebeachsomewhere to Lexington next Tuesday or Wednesday for the colt\'s expected first Red Mile start in the Bluegrass Saturday, Sept. 27, the same arrival schedule trainer and co-owner Ray Schnittker said of Hambletonian winner Deweycheatumnhowe, who is expected to start in the Transylvania the same day.