12/01/2004 1:00AM

Aqueduct cancels on gusty day


Aqueduct canceled Wednesday's card, scheduled to be the opening of the inner track, because of forecasted high winds.

Heavy rains pelted the New York metropolitan area Wednesday morning. The rain and clouds gave way to blue skies and sunshine by early afternoon, but the forecast called for wind gusts between 40 and 50 miles per hour. In November 2003, Aqueduct canceled on consecutive days because of high winds.

"The forecast is getting worse," said Bill Nader, senior vice president for the New York Racing Association, which operates Aqueduct. "The gusts are at 40 miles now. They're saying there could be gusts between 40 and 50 miles per hour. We have a carryover - we didn't want to start and stop."

There was a pick six carryover of $42,623 entering Wednesday's card, which was still available entering Thursday's card.

The cancellation was the track's second in less than a week. On Thanksgiving, Aqueduct canceled its final seven races when the jockeys refused to ride after the first two races, citing unsafe track conditions.

Aqueduct remained open for simulcasting and rain checks were issued for admission, parking, and programs up until 11:35 a.m.