CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Charles Town Races officials were never happier to see the horses turning in slow times than they were on Wednesday.
Live horse racing returned to Charles Town Races that day after workers spent 10 days resurfacing the racetrack.
"I am in hopes we have gotten past the last remaining hurdle in the grounds renovation," said Dick Watson, president of the Charles Town Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association.
Workers put a new bed of limestone at the base of the track and then a cushion of sand, clay and loam, said William Bork Jr., spokesman for Charles Town Races.
"It's like running on the beach," Bork said.
The track closed on April 5 after a spill that jockeys blamed on the track's surface.
The old surface, installed in 1978, had worn down to the concrete base in places.
Bork said the horses ran faster on the old track because it was like running on pavement.