Citing “lingering effects” from a six-inch snowfall last weekend and bitterly cold temperatures that have kept the track closed for training all week, Oaklawn Park has cancelled the Jan. 14 opening day of the 2011 meet. The track in Hot Springs, Arkansas announced it would remain open for simulcasting and gaming Jan. 14.
According to the Jan. 13 announcement, temperatures were expected to gradually rise over the next 24 hours, which would allow the track to reopen for training Jan. 14 and racing Jan. 15. Live racing is scheduled for Jan. 15-17.
“It was an extremely difficult decision to cancel, but our first concern is always the safety of the horses, jockeys, and our patrons,” said sssistant general manager of racing David Longinotti. “Not only have the blusterly conditions been a challenge for our track maintenance crew, but there are still roads throughout the state that remain unsafe for travel due to icy conditions. We are confident that the warming temperatures expected over the next few days will allow us to safely hold the other three live programs.”