Del Mar, Horse racing

Hofmans scratches horses due to condition of Del Mar turf

Trainer David Hofmans scratched two horses off Wednesday’s program due to the condition of the turf at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club.

Following four thoroughbred euthanizations on Del Mar’s new grass course over the first first eight days of racing, Del Mar’s Joe Harper cancelled turf racing on Sunday to give employees an extra day to work on the surface.

Turf superintendent Leif Dickinson and his crew have been watering and aerating the surface that was planted this spring. The track also planned to move the rails out to an 18-foot setting for Wednesday’s program so that horses would run over relatively fresher ground.

Track officials were on the surface on Tuesday morning before giving the final go ahead to resume racing on it, but Hofmans was taking no chances.

Hofmans scratched 4-year-old gelding They Call Me Mr. P, owned by Karen and Mickey Taylor of Seattle Slew fame, from the third race and 2-year-old Popsracer from the sixth race.

When asked why he scratched, Hofmans was to the point.

“I want to see wait and see what they do (to the turf),” Hofmans said. “I know they are trying to soften it, but I want to wait and see. I would have preferred if they had waited a few more days (to resume grass racing). I think that would have been better.”

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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