01/21/2011 9:31AM

Aqueduct cancels Friday card


Live racing was canceled at Aqueduct Friday because track officials feared the effects of an overnight storm might cause damage to the inner track. It was the third weather-related cancellation of the winter meet.

Aqueduct and Belmont Park will be open for simulcasting.

Already wet from mid-week rains, Aqueduct’s inner track - which was listed as good for Thursday’s races - absorbed an overnight snow storm that dropped approximately four inches of snow in the area and ended by 8 a.m. Friday. Racing officials were concerned that by hurrying to remove the snow off the inner track, it could have caused damage to the track’s cushion.

"We really weren’t able to roll it with the same kind of density we had for the previous snow storms," said Bruce Johnstone, director of racing operations for the New York Racing Association. "You could have had ruts in it. As soon as this moves out, the sun is supposed to come out and make things heavier."

The concern was that by rushing to remove the snow off the track, moisture would have seeped to the bottom, and with freezing temperatures due Saturday through Monday turning that moisture to ice, it could have possibly caused tearing in the cushion.

"If you move in a hurry it probably would mess us up going forward," Johnstone said.

There was no training at Aqueduct or Belmont on Friday.