Wintry conditions which have made the racing surface at Oaklawn Park unsuitable for racing have forced the cancellation of this week's live racing. Racing has been cancelled through Feb.4, and will resume Feb. 8.
The track will remain open for simulcasting, Instant Racing and gaming each day. Gates open at 11 a.m. and the Instant Racing/Gaming Room will remain open until 1 a.m.
"We had a meeting with horsemen this morning," said Oaklawn general manager, Eric Jackson, "and it was unanimous to close the track. The horsemen have not been able to train much this week and the prospect of further wintry weather over the next day or so meant that it was unlikely we'd see any improvement in the surface before the weekend. Our track supervisor, Steve Breckling and his men have been working the track 24 hours a day for most of this week but were ultimately not able to withstand the series of wintry blasts.
"The horsemen felt that it was critical for the horses to resume training before they tried to race again. As a result we chose to close for the entire four-day weekend and point ourselves for next Thursday."
Racing Secretary Pat Pope will reschedule the $50,000 King Cotton Stakes, which was to be Saturday's feature (Feb. 3), for Feb. 9. He will also make every effort to bring back as many of the races which were on tab for this week so that horsemen can continue their regular training routines as best as possible.
When the track re-opens Feb. 8, there will be a carryover pool of $60,007 in the CLASSIX wager.
This is the second year in a row for Oaklawn to lose a weekend of racing from its schedule. In 2006 the track was forced to cancel the Presidents' Day weekend, Feb. 18-20.