Anne M. Eberhardt

Tractor Trouble Stops Final Race at Aqueduct

Loss of daylight caused by delay due to locked transmission forces cancellation.

The ninth and final race Jan. 5 at Aqueduct Racetrack was canceled after a harrowing tractor broke down on the outer rail of the backstretch of the inner track.

Because the tractor could not be removed prior to sunset (4:43 p.m. EST), the race was called off by the stewards. A New York State Gaming Commission rule prohibits the start of a race after sunset.

"By mutual agreement of all three stewards, we elected to cancel the race rather than run it under potentially unsafe circumstances," said New York Racing Association steward Braulio Baeza Jr.

"We are certainly disappointed to have been forced to cancel today's final race," said Martin Panza, senior vice president of racing operations for NYRA. "The tractor's transmission locked up, and it could not be removed in expedient fashion. The safety of our horses and riders always comes first, and the only sensible move was to cancel the ninth race. Our apologies go out to all bettors, fans, and horsemen who were inconvenienced by this unfortunate circumstance."

All win, place, show, exacta, trifecta, and superfecta wagers on the ninth race were refunded. All runners in the last race were declared winners in the double, Pick 3, Pick 4, and Pick 6 pools. By New York State Gaming Commission rule, the $24,569 Pick 6 carryover was not paid out and will be carried over when racing resumes on Thursday, Jan, 9.