Rains Force Cancelation, Delay at Saratoga

By Phil Janack
The third race at Saratoga was canceled and racing was delayed for more than an hour due to an early afternoon rainstorm that pounded Saratoga Race Course on Sunday.

Already soaked by several days of wet weather, the main track was reduced to muck during the running of the second race, whichwent off at 1:32 p.m. in a driving rainstorm.

A field of eight 2-year-olds were loaded in the gate for the third race, a 5 1/2-furlong maiden sprint scheduled for a 2:04 start. They were taken out and led back to the paddock after a large area of standing water was found on the track coming out of the far turn approaching the quarter pole at the head of the stretch. Maintenance crews were called out to examine the problem.

Two horses scratched out of the third race during the delay, which lasted 10 minutes before the race was canceled due to unsafe conditions. One of the horses that was scratched, Fifth Edition, threw jockey Pat Day and ran free on the track for approximately 10 minutes before being caught by outriders.

The New York Racing Association issued $1,338,501 in refunds of wagers on the third race and on Pick 3 wagers that began with the third race.

The third was the only race of the day entered by meet-leading trainer Todd Pletcher, who had his streak snapped at six straight days with at least one victory. He has 23 for
the meet, one shy of matching the all-time record set by Syl Veitch in 1954.

"Warming up there were big washouts, but you couldn't tell," jockey Richard Migliore said.

Migliore had the mount on Pletcher's Purge in the third and ran third as the favorite on Deeliteful Guy in the fourth.

"They told us at the quarter pole there was a bad washout and they sent us back to the paddock," he said. "We never saw that one. When we did get out there, they were working on it."

At 2:45 p.m., several jockeys came out to check on the condition of the main track. At 2:56 p.m, it was deemed safe enough for racing to resume.

The fourth race went off at 3:27 p.m., roughly 50 minutes later than normal and 83 minutes after the third race post. All three turf races were switched from the grass to the main track.

"The track was much better," Migliore said. "Honestly, we never got to know if it was good or bad because we didn't get to run the third race, but there was a lot of water, like rivers running through the track.

"It was just a product of severe weather. They did a good job. The track was in good shape, like any other sealed sloppy track, maybe a little bit heavier. It took a lot of water."