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Keeneland becomes latest track to switch to dirt surface

Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Ky., has become the latest horse-racing track to announce that it is replacing its synthetic surface and returning to dirt.

The Polytrack surface will be discarded after the end of the April meeting, replaced by a dirt surface for the fall. The Polytrack was installed in 2006.

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Del Mar plans to replace its Polytrack with dirt after this summer's meeting. Santa Anita previously switched back to dirt.

The change should help Keeneland's bid for a Breeders' Cup. Owners have come to prefer a dirt surface.

Several tracks had switched to synthetic surfaces with the intention of improving safety for horses, but statistics have been mixed about whether those surfaces produced a major improvement in safety.

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