Two steeplechase races scheduled for Wednesday's card at Saratoga Race Course, including the 64th running of the $150,000-added New York Turf Writers Cup, were scratched as the remnants of Hurricane Katrina unloaded 1.3 inches of rain overnight.All other scheduled turf races were moved to the main track. As a result, first race post on Wednesday was moved to 2:10 p.m. Free general admission was provided, and clubhouse admission was reduced to $2. The New York Turf Writers Cup, at a National Steeplechase Association grade I race at 2 3/8 miles over national fences, will be run as the first race of a 10-race card on Friday, Sept. 2. The other steeplechase race will not be rescheduled.
"There's nothing you can do about the weather," said trainer Jonathan Sheppard, also the National Steeplechase Association president. "We are disappointed not to race and we were prepared to, but we also understand the concerns. As it turned out, I don't think the rain was as bad as the forecast and we have raced on softer turf in Saratoga and at other venues in the past."Sheppard was quick to point out that two canceled races pale in comparison to the effects of Katrina on other parts of the country."We are talking about two horse races, so while we are disappointed, our thoughts are with the people in New Orleans and other parts of the country," he said. "We will get to race again."