Severe weather and lightning in the Dallas-Fort Worth area Thursday evening led to the cancellation of the final four races at Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie, Texas.
Heavy thunderstorms and lightning pelted the North Texas racetrack at approximately 8:45 p.m., shortly after the fifth race of the night. Track officials hoped the bad weather would pass, but after a one-hour delay, the sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth races were canceled. "We felt it was in the best interest of our jockeys and patrons to cancel the final four races," said Corey Johnsen, Lone Star Park's president and general manager. "The cancellation was a safety issue when the electrical storm stalled over Grand Prairie. It's unfortunate so close to the end of our season, but safety is paramount -- especially for the riders and horses."This is the fifth weather-related cancellation in Lone Star Park's five years of operation and second of the 70-date meeting. The final two races on May 8 were cancelled for the same reason.
There were two weather-related cancellations a year ago: one race on May 4 and the final four races on June 14. There also was a weather-related cancellation on Oct. 2, 1998 - opening night of the track's Quarter Horse season when only six races were staged (five were canceled).
Attendance on Thursday was 7,535. On-track patrons wagered $305,950 on the shortened five-race program. Another $853,697 was bet at simulcast outlets across the country for a total of $1,159,647.
A decision to make up any of the cancelled races will be made Friday morning at the time of entries for Sunday's closing program.