Weather Forces Spa to Cancel 8 Races

Weather Forces Spa to Cancel 8 Races
Photo: Skip Dickstein
NYRA Track workers remove standing water and level out the track after torrential rains caused damage to the Saratoga race course.

from the New York Racing Association

A severe summer thunderstorm, complete with heavy rain, hail, and lightning, washed out part of the main track at Saratoga, forcing the cancellation of racing after the second race Aug. 8.

Eight races were canceled, including the $80,000 Waya Stakes for older females at 1 1/2 miles on the turf. Patrons were given a two-part rain check for admission and program upon exiting the facility. Exchange of reserved seats will be granted for future dates, based on availability.

The track remained open for simulcasting.

The New York Racing Association will also honor exchange of Daily Racing Form and/or program on any day within the next two weeks.

After maintenance crews determined it would take more than an hour to repair the damage, stewards made the decision to cancel racing.

“Even after an hour, there was no guarantee that the track would be up to standard,” NYRA president Charles Hayward said after track maintenance crews had to work on wash-out spots between the quarter-pole and the five-sixteenths pole. “The threat of more storms was real, and we decided to cancel for the safety of the horses, the jockeys, and the fans.” 

The most recent time racing was canceled in Saratoga was Aug. 2, 2006, when high temperatures forced cancellation of the entire card,  which was the first time since at least 1940 that an entire program was scrapped.

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