The 5/8ths dirt training track is cared and tended to as if it were a living, breathing animal, consistently being evaluated for what it might need. In the past years, we have made significant investments to the track. In 2017, we added cushion to the track and in the summer of 2018, it was laser-leveled and had a new watering system installed. Mother nature is out of our control, but keeping the track consistent and safe is something we are responsible for.
Horses at Woodford get introduced to the starting gate very early on in the breaking and training process. Every horse will walk through the gate either on their way to the training track or back to their barn, six days a week. We invest time in this process because we know it pays off and is a crucial part of developing a successful racehorse.
Woodford has a natural pond in the center of the training track; it made sense to start there. The swim dock was created from scratch and had one design element in mind: safety. Swimming is a tool used by the training center to get horses fit and increase lung capacity. It’s also used for sale prep of the yearlings as it burns calories and defines muscle without stressing a young horse’s musculoskeletal system.
Covered Round Pen
The covered round pen is multipurpose. It provides a step in between stall and paddock turn out where a horse can stretch their legs, get fresh air and yet still be contained so they do not injure themselves. The round pen is also where all the horses get introduced to a saddle and rider for the first time.
trainer John Gleason
“At Woodford I am responsible for the breaking and training of the horses pointing to a two-year old in training sale as well as those headed to the races. I am hands on thru the entire process from day one. I also oversee the care for layups who come to us needing a break from the racetrack. The training center has plenty of turnout paddocks for these types of horses as well as the ability to swim horses on site. These options along with our turf gallop are great tools for resting an older horse, or getting a horse fit coming back from an injury. The training barns quiet down during the summer as most of the two-year olds head off to their respective racetrack trainers. During this time we move our sales prep yearlings into the training barns where I manage their final sales preparations.”
—Trainer John Gleason