The Jim McKay Stakes (won by Ben's Cat), was one of 6 races taken off of the turf.<br><a target="blank" href="">Order This Photo</a>

The Jim McKay Stakes (won by Ben's Cat), was one of 6 races taken off of the turf.
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Anne M. Eberhardt

Weather, Scratches Impact 'Susan' Day

Pimlico reported total handle of nearly $11.35 million, down 13.36% from last year.

Weather conditions impacted the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (gr. II) program at Pimlico Race Course May 16.

Heavy morning rain led the Maryland Jockey Club to shift six races, some of them stakes, from turf to dirt. That resulted in a slew of scratches in some races, including the Hilltop Stakes, in which five scratches left a field of three to close out the program.

Total pari-mutuel handle on the 13-race card was $11,346,688, down 13.36% from $13,096,736 for 13 races in 2013. The Maryland Jockey Club reported on-track attendance of 34,736, down from 38,957 last year.

Heavy rain Friday morning led to sloppy main track conditions. The crowd at Pimlico began to grow as the system moved out of the Baltimore area and sunny conditions returned early afternoon.

"I am very happy with the day considering where we were this morning," MJC president Tom Chuckas said. "At 5:30 (a.m.) it was raining sideways, and you couldn't see. The card got pulled apart with six races coming off the turf creating a lot of scratches, which made it difficult.

"But overall I am pleased. My team did a great job and worked hard under adverse conditions. The track was fast by the end of the day, and we will be good to go on the turf (May 17)."