Racetrack Surface Workshops Set to Coincide with the Global Symposium on Racing

Nov. 13, 2023

The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) regulations require racetracks to provide design documents to the authority (Rule 2151) as well as measure slopes of straights and turns at each marker pole (Rule 2154) for all types of surfaces, including dirt, turf and synthetic. Grades are measured prior to each race meet, or seasonally for racetracks with long meets by HISA designated inspectors. The goal of everyone in racing should be a consistent surface with gradual transitions from the turn into the straight.


On Sunday, December 3rd, the use of a current model grader will be demonstrated by John Deere representatives and Alfredo Laureano from Keeneland. Using standard cross slope control on a John Deere GP grader, automated blade adjustment will be demonstrated and compared to an older grader. Also on Sunday, Dean Johnson of Johnson Land Surveys and John Deere experts will use a low-cost self-leveling laser and a Lenker rod to check the grades using the standard design document from HISA Rule 2151. Real-time correction of the surface grades at Rillito Racetrack will be made by Alfredo Laureano and checked by Dean Johnson. Branden Brookfield and Kaleb Dempsey of Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory will demonstrate the checks made during HISA pre-meet inspections.

Who should attend? 
Superintendents, maintenance, and compliance staff

Continuing education credits:
Participants who demonstrate the use of lasers on December 3rd will be awarded 4 CE credit hours.

When and where:
Sunday, December 3
Noon - 5:00 pm
Rillito Park Racetrack, Tucson, AZ

For more information, call or text
Mackenzie Rockefeller at


On Monday, December 4th, the paperwork requirements and process used for pre-meet inspections will be presented. Both the design document and inspection documentation for the track slopes will be presented. Engineers trom GRW Engineering and Dean Johnson will review the standard grading document for Rule 2151 and discuss the designs of current racetracks. The HISA rule emphasizes consistent grades and will not require changes to any current surfaces. Attendees will receive examples of the standard documentation requirements for grades, including superelevation on the turns and cross-falls on the straights. Branden Brookfield and Kaleb Dempsey of Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory will explain the pre-meet inspections. Examples of data with explanations will be available to help interpret results from pre-meet testing. Ann McGovern, Director of Racetrack Safety for HISA, will be in attendance to answer questions as well.

Who should attend?
Managers, superintendents, maintenance, and compliance staff

Continuing education credits:
Attendees who complete the online questionnaire on December 4th will receive 2 CE credit hours.

When and where:
Monday, December 4
9:30 am - 11:30 am
Loews Ventana Canyon, Tucson, AZ