Five Thoroughbred tracks called off their cards Sunday because of the second major snowstorm to hit the Northeast this season. Racing was closed at Aqueduct in New York, Turfway Park in Florence, Ky., Laurel outside Baltimore, Philadelphia Park and at Suffolk Downs near Boston.
Suffolk Downs cancelled live racing on Saturday and Sunday due to a snowstorm that has also closed Aqueduct and Philadelphia Park for both days. The East Boston oval will remain open for simulcasting.
Fairmount Park has cancelled the final four cards of its 2000 meet due to unsafe track conditions. The Collinsville, Ill., track decided Tuesday to cancel that night's card and the decision to cancel the final three nights of racing was made Wednesday, according to Joe Ruppert, the track's vice president.
After losing all or part of seven race cards since Dec. 13, Turfway Park will switch to afternoon racing for the holiday week. Beginning Wednesday and running through Jan. 1, first post at the Florence, Ky. oval will be at 1:10 p.m. (EST).
Charles Town has canceled live racing for Saturday due to extremely cold temperatures. The temperature in Charles Town, W. Va. was 25 degrees at just before 5:00 p.m. (EST), with temperatures expected to drop prior to the scheduled first post time of 7:15 p.m.
Weather conditions forced five tracks -- Turfway Park, Hawthorne Race Course, Mountaineer Park, Charles Town, and Penn National Race Course -- to cancel racing again on Friday. Friday's cancellation marks the seventh time in just over a week Turfway has canceled racing due to weather and Hawthorne's fifth such cancellation. Charles Town, Mountaineer and Penn National each have lost all or part of three cards recently.
The inclement weather that has hit the Midwest and Northeast continues to have a negative impact on live racing. At Turfway Park, which conducted live racing Wednesday night for the first time in more than a week, cancelled the Thursday night card due to "continued snow...temperatures dipping to 30 below zero with the wind chill."
The debut of Turfway Park's unique pick four wager will be delayed at least another day as the northern Kentucky track canceled racing for the second consecutive night Thursday.
According to current weather forecasts for Louisville on Saturday, the weather for this year's Breeders' Cup races at Churchill Downs should be excellent for racing.
Obviously, the only thing harder to predict than who will win the eight Breeders' Cup races at Churchill Downs on Nov. 4 is what the weather will be like in Louisville, Ky., on that date.
The 10-day forecast from the National Weather Service is calling for partly cloudy skies and a temperature of 72 on Saturday, Nov. 4 in Louisville, Ky. Which means a possibility Breeders' Cup XVII could see a record crowd.
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