The Los Angeles Times takes a critical look at the new artificial surface used for the Del Mar racetrack in a story today. With races about to start today, the Times says:

Substantial questions have been raised by horsemen and other racing executives surveyed by The Times over whether Del Mar’s new track is safe enough.

Even before the first furlong of racing at the San Diego County site, flaws were discovered in the newly installed track. Costly repairs were completed last week, but on Monday some trainers canceled workouts after questioning the repaired track’s surprising firmness — a condition that was corrected by Tuesday.

Continuing concerns about the track’s ability to hold up under heavy daily use also have prompted Del Mar officials to reduce the number of horses permitted in their stables this season.

ROB DAVIS

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