11/26/2004 1:00AM

Aqueduct cancels Thursday card


There will now be 10 races on Sunday, with first post moved up to noon from 12:30 p.m. Sunday is the last card scheduled to be run on the main track. Racing moves to the inner track on Wednesday.

About a half-inch of rain fell during Wednesday's card - run over a sloppy track - and there were a few more showers overnight. It was cloudy Thursday morning and the card began with mild temperatures.

Following Thursday's second race, however, the jockeys complained to management that the track was uneven in spots. They requested that the track be harrowed and floated and agreed to try to ride the third race.

After warming up their horses prior to the third race, a one-mile maiden event for 2-year-olds, the jockeys determined the track was still not safe and refused to ride. Several railbirds among the 3,510 in attendance booed and made derisive comments toward the jocks when they came back to the paddock.

"Believe me, we tried to ride," said Javier Castellano, who did not ride the first two races, but was aboard Royal Sultan for the third. "After the three-quarter pole, it's terrible. From the three-quarter pole to the half-mile pole there's a big puddle and a hole."

Castellano said the inside was the worst part of the track, and the jocks did not want to have to ride too far off the rail.

Fans were given rain checks for admission, parking, and programs.