01/27/2005 12:00AM

Aqueduct cancels Thursday after two races


The last seven races on Aqueduct's Thursday card were canceled after the jockeys refused to ride, citing extremely cold temperatures. But the simple cancellation was tinged with controversy.

The jockeys met for approximately 20 minutes after the first race and notified the stewards and racing secretary Mike Lakow - other members of the New York Racing Association's senior management were not on the grounds - they would ride the second race, but not the remainder of the card. The temperature at first post was 16 degrees with a wind chill factor of minus-4. The second race was run at 1:12 p.m., 14 minutes after initially scheduled.

"We wanted to work with management to get through the double," said Aaron Gryder, one of six jockeys who rode in both races. "It's extremely uncomfortable. If it was this cold without the wind I think they'd be fine."

While those who wagered on the daily double were protected, those who wagered on the pick three or pick four that started with the second race were left out in the cold. Even though it was understood no more races would be run after the second, wagers were taken on the pick three and pick four. Consolation payouts were made in both those wagers to those who had second-race longshot winner Delta Sea ($37.60) and any horse in the remaining legs of the pick three or pick four. The pick three returned $28, the pick four $27.40.

The total money wagered on the pick three and pick four was $79,062. The total money wagered on the early daily double was $159,782.

Thursday was the fifth cancellation of the winter, and the third in the last four racing days.