04/04/2006 11:00PM

Aqueduct cancels 6 races


Aqueduct canceled its final six races on Wednesday after jockeys expressed concern they wouldn't be able to complete the card due to extremely sloppy track conditions.

With a pick-six wager that had a pool surpassing $800,000 about to begin, management made the decision to cancel racing after the third race. Racing was scheduled to resume on Thursday with a pick-six carryover of $205,721.

A surprise winter storm that brought snow and plenty of moisture to the area caught track officials off guard. The day began with a sloppy track, and jockeys said the condition of the main track - which only opened last week - deteriorated after each race.

According to John Velazquez, who was riding his first day of the spring meet, the jockeys felt the track was uneven on the backstretch. The jockeys offered to ride the fourth and fifth races, but would not commit to riding beyond that.

"When they said they didn't think we'd get through the card, then we decided it's in the best interests of all parties to cancel now," said Bill Nader, senior vice president for the New York Racing Association.