02/16/2014 10:11AM

Aqueduct cancels Sunday card after winter storm

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Due to the effects of Saturday’s winter storm, Sunday’s 10-race program at Aqueduct was canceled, the third straight card lost this week. Aqueduct has not raced since Monday.

It is the seventh full card of the inner-track meet lost due to weather, one more than last year but one fewer than in 2010-11, when eight full cards were canceled due to weather.

Aqueduct joined Parx as tracks that canceled live racing Sunday. Parx announced Saturday it would scrap Sunday’s card due in large part to a case of equine herpesvirus on the backstretch that prohibits horses from shipping in to that track.

Aqueduct, which along with Belmont Park was to be open for simulcasting Sunday, is scheduled to conduct a 10-race card Monday, Presidents Day, including the $100,000 Hollie Hughes Stakes for New York-bred sprinters.

Bill Keating More than 1 year ago
Aqueduct was the only track to cancel on Sunday due to weather (Parx cancelled because of a viral infection found on Saturday). And it was not due to the effects of "Saturday's winter storm." There was no winter storm in western Nassau on Saturday. There were a few snow showers which deposited about an inch and a half of snow. Of course if the riders did not want to go, then you don't go. I didn't see that as being the case. I thought it was just another example of how unfit non-profit NYRA is to run New York racing. Not that I believe that story that they just wanted to give themselves another day off with pay.
Walt Gekko More than 1 year ago
Bill: If you saw the picture Rajiv Maragh tweeted from Belmont Park (where most horses who race at Aqueduct are stabled), you would have realized they were likely to cancel. There was no training at Belmont because of track conditions and as noted in my post below this one, there was the likelihood of the track at Aqueduct melting during the day even with temps below freezing because of the sun. The freeze-thaw cycle is the real problem.
Walt Gekko More than 1 year ago
Rajiv Maragh tweeted a picture early this morning from the stable area at Belmont Park (where most of the horses who race at Aqueduct are stabled) showing how bad these storms have played havoc there. I fully expected there to be racing today until I saw that picture.on Twitter shortly before sunrise this morning. People forget there were three parts to Thursday's storm: 1. The initial snow. 2. The changeover to rain. 3. Going back to snow, and a very significant amount at the end. Then there was that freezing over Friday night into Saturday morning, and that along with the snow threat that did hit canceled Saturday's racing. I'm sure there were a lot of areas that were a SHEET OF ICE, like I'm sure many streets are where stuff that melted subsequently re-froze. Add to that sunshine that could have easily melted the track in the middle of the card today (even with temps actually below freezing) and temps expected to rise into the 40s and 50s later this week, and it is a recipe where NYRA could easily have lost the track for weeks on end like what happened in 1982 to where the inner track actually was REPLACED with the current surface following that season. Excluiding 2009-'10 (the snowiest winter on record), we are dealing with the worst winter in New York since at least 1982 from a weather standpoint (while other winters actually had more snow officially, in those years there was/were one or more storms of 20"+ that accounted for large chunks of the official totals) and the coldest winter since the first full year of the inner track in 1977, which is still the coldest winter on record (2003 was the next coldest). This problem is not isolated to New York, as Parx, Penn National, Laurel, Charles Town, Oaklawn Park and Turfway Park have ALL LOST at least one full week this winter to poor weather conditions. NYRA has to this point been the only circuit not to lose an entire week to bad weather in the "cold weather" areas, and I think people seem not to realize that. They have done a very good job in keeping the track in the best shape possible given all the storms this winter (SIX storms in SIX weeks) and I think people have failed to understand this.
Hail No More than 1 year ago
Excellent post, thx..
Walt Gekko More than 1 year ago
You're welcome. People seem to think if the weather is okay, it's okay to race. If it were guaranteed to be overcast for the full day today, THEN you might have seen NYRA attempt to run since it would then have been unlikely the track would have melted.
Richard More than 1 year ago
Great information but NYRA should be able to evaluate these scenarios by the early evening the day before the closing instead of proclaiming what they knew in all probability would be - the morning of race day.
Walt Gekko More than 1 year ago
Actually, they may not have: The snow apparently did not stop until Midnight, and was apparently heavier in NYC than what was originally forecast (whereas Philly for instance wound up getting all rain). Tough situation.
Justin Gewirtz More than 1 year ago
The track was open for training at AQU because the track was " freeze dried." It was not open for racing because the the sun thawed out the track and left it in an unsafe condition that the jockey's would not ride in. Slot machines did not factor into the track condition.
Walt Gekko More than 1 year ago
Absolutely: NYRA likely knew the track would melt today during racing, and as I noted in my previous post, there likely are concerns about losing the track, especially with temps expected to rise into the 40s and 50s later this week (Friday was the first time temps actually got above 40 since the Super Bowl whereas the normal high this time of year in NYC is 42 I believe). Other circuits have had it far worse than NYRA this winter, arguably the roughest in more than 30 years and the coldest in 35+ years (since 1977, the coldest on record).
Tyler Mathis More than 1 year ago
I always thought the inner track had some sort of antifreeze component mixed into the dirt so it couldn't freeze. But living not too far from AQE I can certainly understand why they would close. Everything is a mess in this part of the world.
Mike Bilinskas More than 1 year ago
if they didn't have slots they would have run, 100% sure on that..
WWW More than 1 year ago
$LOT$ are the cash cow. NYRA is fuming that they have to give their casino profits to the racing side of the business. The reason they hired someone who knows NOTHING about racing is because they want the racing side of the business to tank...I mean, why else would they RAISE parking and entrance fees when on-track attendance is declining??.....either they want racing to tank or they have the intelligence of a box of hair.
Russell More than 1 year ago
NYRA is a not-for-profit organization. Why do they care where the profits go? The bottom line is they don't get any.
G More than 1 year ago
How poorly run is NYRA, that on a day races are cancelled, they are allowing workouts? What is the real reason for canceling the card? NYRA's website has todays workouts posted.
m More than 1 year ago
prob the jocks don't wanna ride. that's is strange though that they worked on it.
Walt Gekko More than 1 year ago
I believe it may actually have been the stable area at Belmont (where most horses are actually stabled that race at Aqueduct). There was a pic (noted elsewhere) that showed how bad it was this morning.
Bill Keating More than 1 year ago
I disagree with you if you think that a race or two added to a Belmont or Saratoga is going to make up in handle for an entire lost day at Aqueduct. It would be easy enough to go back to the past year or two and do the math. As Anon said, and as I'm sure you know, Belmont and especially Saratoga have a pretty large number of 11 and 12 race cards already, Saratoga had eleven race cards every Sunday, twelve race cards on four Saturdays, and the mammoth 14 race card on Travers day. The press, handicappers, and many on-track patrons find this to be just too much. It may be OK with simulcast bettors.
james hallal More than 1 year ago
it would be nice if people had a clue about new york racing before offering comments. yes safety is an issue but nyra will take the races that have been cancelled and will add them on to racing cards at belmont and saratoga in the spring, summer, and fall when the handle is much larger. that is why you will find some 11 and 12 race cards. end of lesson.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
they always have 11 and 12 race cards one thing has nothing to do with the other. END OF LESSON
james hallal More than 1 year ago
now i know why you remain anonymous.
Bill Keating More than 1 year ago
It's a good thing that NYRA doesn't run an airline. Its passengers would be stranded for a week because of a few weak to moderate snow storms none of which produced as much as a foot of snow in the NY Metro area.
tim More than 1 year ago
NYRA running an airline....can you imagine? You would get to all destinations quicker by hit chilling
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
if the track was unsafe today why did they let horses train on it all morning?
Bugsy Anderson More than 1 year ago
Where did you see there was workouts this morning?
G More than 1 year ago
The workouts for today are posted on the NYRA website. 29 workouts posted so far, on the inner track.
Walt Gekko More than 1 year ago
The track was fine for workouts this morning. There were two problems for racing: 1. The stable area at Belmont (where there was NO training this morning) had a lot of ice (Rajiv Maragh tweeted a pic before sunrise). 2. The track was likely going to melt as the afternoon progressed. Add to it the likelihood of temps rising into the 40s and 50s later this week, and it could have been a recipe for disaster.