Variable Winter Weather Wreaking Havoc With Racing

Braving the wintry weather in New York | Susie Raisher

Winter weather conditions on the East Coast and the Midwest continue to impact racing operations at a variety of racetracks.

Parx Racing in suburban Philadelphia cancelled Monday's scheduled live program in the morning hours and by mid-afternoon, word was circulating that the live card for Tuesday was also called off. Temperatures well-below freezing prompted weekend cancellations at Aqueduct and Laurel and although temperatures in the region flirted with the 40-degree mark on Monday, the thawing and re-freezing of racing surfaces is surely causing nightmares for track superintendents.

Temperatures had once again sunk to sub-freezing by nightfall Monday, but the forecast is slightly more positive–albeit rainy–over the next 72 hours. According to weather.com, the lowest low temperature is 33 degrees during the overnight hours Tuesday into Wednesday, with a predicted high temperature of 61 degrees by Friday.

The next scheduled card at Parx is this Wednesday.

Officials at Oaklawn Park were forced to cancel its entire slate of racing last weekend and conditions were forecast to moderate over the coming days. That fact notwithstanding, training has not been taking place at the Hot Springs oval and according to a communique to the local horsepeople, the track will not open for training before 2 p.m. this Wednesday, Jan. 24. A further update was expected by 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Turfway Park was able to conduct live racing last Wednesday and Thursday, but were forced to cancel both Friday and Saturday's programs.

Racing is scheduled to resume Wednesday at Turfway and Friday at Aqueduct, Laurel and–tentatively–Oaklawn.

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