Harsh winter weather and and poor track conditions have led to the cancellation of almost 70 full racing programs through the first seven weeks of 2014.
Equibase statistics show 69 full cards have been scrapped and seven others have been shortened because of weather and racing surface conditions from Jan. 1 through Feb. 19. Most of the affected racetracks are located in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions of the United States.
Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races in West Virginia led the way with 17 lost programs, followed by Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course in Pennsylvania (16); Parx Racing in Pennsylvania (seven); Aqueduct Racetrack in New York, Beulah Park in Ohio, and Turfway Park in Kentucky (each with six); Laurel Park in Maryland (five); Oaklawn Park in Arkansas (four); and Delta Downs Racetrack & Casino in Louisiana (two).
Even with the loss of 31 full programs in January, there was little or no impact on major economic indicators for the month, according to Equibase. The number of race days—individual programs at each track—actually increased 4.45% from January 2013, and total Thoroughbred purses for the month increased 1.35% from the same period a year ago.
Pari-mutuel handle on U.S. Thoroughbred races was down 0.23% from January 2013.