Two turf stakes scheduled for Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots' Jan. 19—the Col. E.R. Bradley Handicap (gr. IIIT) and the Marie G. Krantz Memorial Stakes—have been moved to the following Saturday, Jan. 26, because there will likely be no turf racing this weekend.
The final decision was made at about 9:30 a.m. Jan. 16 by Fair Grounds officials after consulting with horsemen and the stewards.
"Everyone agreed this was the right decision," said Eric Halstrom, Fair Grounds vice president and general manager for racing, in a release. "These are important races on our stakes schedule and our horsemen deserve every chance to run their horses on their preferred surface. While it doesn't always work out that way, we think that moving these turf stakes back a week will help accomplish that goal."
Fair Grounds has been faced with an inordinate amount of rain in recent weeks. As of the morning of Jan. 16, 5.39 inches of rain had fallen in the area in January, according to Fox 8 meteorologist Chris Franklin. The average for the entire month is 5.87 inches. Only one race, the Jan. 5 Dixie Poker Ace Stakes, has been run on the Stall-Wilson Turf Course in 2013.
Although the local weekend forecast looks good for racing, with little chance of rain Jan. 17-20, the ground is too heavily saturated to expect turf racing Jan. 19, officials said.
The rescheduled races will make for a four-stakes program Jan. 26, which was already scheduled to feature the Gaudin Memorial for top sprinters and the inaugural Van Berg Stakes for 3-year-old turf sprinters.