03/07/2003 12:00AM

Aqueduct cancels again


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Because of poor track conditions, Aqueduct canceled Saturday's live card, the third straight day of racing hit by winter weather. Management called off Friday's racing after the first race because of the deteriorating track condition, and the entire Thursday card was scrapped because of a snowstorm.

After Thursday's snow, the temperature climbed into the 30's on Friday and the track began to thaw.

Aqueduct was scheduled to hold a 10-race card on Sunday, but as of 6 p.m. Friday no decision had been made as to the rescheduling of the Saturday feature, the Stymie Handicap.

The jockeys were willing to ride after Friday's opener was run without incident and were in the paddock for the second when the cancellation announcement was made.

"We didn't think it was terrible," said Aaron Gryder, who rode the first. "If it stayed cool after the first, it probably would have been okay. Unfortunately, the slop was coming from the bottom, not the top, and the concern was that it would get more sloppy as the day went on."

Terry Meyocks, the New York Racing Association's president, walked the track a couple of times before the opener and watched the track crew try to draw moisture out of the surface.

"It was going to get wetter throughout the day," Meyocks said.

The weekend forecast was for a temperature in the high 40's, followed by colder weather and possibly snow. The main track - weather permitting - is scheduled to open on Friday.