The condition of a race track plays an important role in the performance of horses in a race. The factors that go into determining race track condition include the surface conditions, type of surface, and track configuration. The surface conditions are influenced by the type of surface factoring in soil type, and if the track is dirt, turf, artificial surface; plus surface density, porosity, compaction and moisture content.
Below is a list of the track conditions as well as the codes as they will appear in Race entries and Past Performances.
Fast: (FST or FT) Dry, even, resilient surface
Frozen: (FRZ or FZ) Something that doesn’t happen often because if it’s dangerous for the horse’s and jockey races will be canceled.
Good: (GD) A track that is almost fast.
Heavy: (HVY) Condition of track similar, too, but even slower than muddy.
Muddy Track: (MUD or MY) Deep condition of racetrack after being soaked with water.
Slow: (SL or SLO)Footing that is not fast, between sloppy and heavy.
Sloppy: (SY) Condition of footing. Wet on the surface with a firm bottom. Usually, this indicates there is visible water on the surface.
Wet Fast: (WF) Track that is wet on the surface but firm underneath.
Firm: (FM or FRM) A dry turf course with a slight give to it (corresponds with fast on a dirt surface).
Good: (GD or TF) A relatively firm turn course containing some moisture and slightly more give.
Good to Firm: (G/F) Between good and firm conditions
Hard: (HRD or HD) Surface is hard and horses do not have normal cushion of the course; frequently follows periods of drought and high temperatures.
Heavy: (HVY or HY) A deep, heavy and often waterlogged turf course that produces very slow times.
Soft: (SFT or SF) A turf course that contains a good amount of moisture and substantial give.
Yielding: (YLD) A very wet turf course that is deep and produces slower times.
Other useful terms include:
MTO: Main Track Only. This means the race is scheduled to be run on the turf, and these horses will not actually start. If for some reason the race is moved to the dirt course (the main track) then the MTO horses will start in addition to the others.
AE: Also Eligible. Horses that do not draw into the body of the race, but are eligible to run in the event an entered horse is scratched at scratch time. Horses not drawing into the race are scratched.