01/24/2013 10:35AM

Aqueduct cancels Thursday card due to cold

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Thursday’s nine-race card at Aqueduct was canceled due to extreme cold, New York Racing Association officials announced early Thursday morning. Aqueduct and Belmont Park remained open for simulcasting.

Thursday’s forecast was for sunny skies but temperatures in the low 20s and wind chills in the single digits.

It is the second cancellation of the winter meet. The Dec. 29 card was canceled due to a forecast for snow that never came.

Live racing is expected to resume on Friday, though it is expected to remain cold and snow is forecast for mid-afternoon.

W.G. More than 1 year ago
NYRA used to ALWAYS race in this weather (in fact, they used to have a promotion in the '80s and early '90s where if the forecast high was 32 degrees or less it was $1.00 off grandstand admission and FREE admission if the forecast high was below 20 degrees). The only times (other than for heavy snow or heavy rain) NYRA cancelled was when it truly was extremely cold, with temps in the single digits in the daytime when it really is too dangerous to run. This kind of weather used to be typical weather NYRA would race in during the winter. You have to wonder if concerns of getting horses between Aqueduct and Belmont (where the majority of horses who race at Aqueduct are stabled) is a factor, especially given the MTA has been having to run shuttle buses from Far Rockaway to Howard Beach-JFK Airport Station due to the stretch of the Rockaway branch between Howard Beach and the Rockaways being out (which will continue to be the case all winter and most of the spring) due to the destruction of the railroad bridges on Jamaica Bay by Sandy and those having to be completely rebuilt (the shuttle buses have to go over the one bridge that connects the Rockaways to the mainland by auto and traffic there is a real problem). Some have to use that bus shuttle just to get basic necessities due to many businesses in the Rockaways still having not reopened due to damage from Sandy (normal rail service is not expected to resume until early summer at the earliest). Those people already have a very long ride due to unavoidable traffic issues given the route the buses HAVE to run, and anything that puts the buses next to the route the horses have to travel to get to and from Aqueduct (most horses are stabled at Belmont Park) makes it an even longer ride. That's why I think in this case, the MTA may have asked NYRA to cancel, not wanting horse transportation interfering with bus shuttle service any further than that service is already interfered with due to the traffic patterns since Sandy.
Larry Kaufman More than 1 year ago
nyra should just close for the winter,they never closed in the past unless it was below 10 degrees or 6 inches of snow. now since the racino opened they close before the first snowflake falls.no excuse for closing today, and they wonder why this is a dying sport
charles b More than 1 year ago
NYRA did the right thing to cancel todays card. No one shoul have to work in these kind of conditions.
Dan Adler More than 1 year ago
This was a no brainer decision made by NYRA- see the current weather at Aqueduct 2PM ET. South Ozone Park Weather 24°F Fair / Windy Feels like 8°F From NW 26mph gusting to 40 mph WIND 20% HUMIDITY -6° DEW POINT 10.0 mi Visibility
W.G. More than 1 year ago
NYRA used to ALWAYS run in this weather. As noted in another post, I'm thinking the MTA, which has having to run a bus shuttle between Far Rockaway and Howard Beach due to that stretch of track having to be completely rebuilt following the destruction of Sandy (and a shuttle some have to use just to get basic necessities because of many businesses in the Rockaways still being out because of damage from Sandy) asked NYRA to cancel because of concerns they would have to alter their bus route and they didn't want people having to wait longer in the cold than they already do because the vans that transport horses between Aqueduct and Belmont Park are interfering with traffic.
L More than 1 year ago
lol you can always tell when someone who comments has never been on a horse's back galloping over a semi frozen track in 20 degree weather
avlamal More than 1 year ago
disgraceful low 20s come oon thghey used to race in the teens no wind either lame they must not need the money
carl gervasi More than 1 year ago
Its no problem for the humans, but the cold air in the horses lungs under stress is not only painful but can cause damage, good move by n.y.r.a
charles b More than 1 year ago
Be thankful they had the sense to cancel todays races. In addition to probably saving you lost bets, neither man nor horse should have to work in conditions like that.
W.G. More than 1 year ago
Or as I've said in the other posts, the MTA likely ASKED NYRA to cancel since NYRA is having to run a special shuttle bus route between Far Rockaway and Howard Beach due to the tracks being out in that stretch (likely to continue until early summer at the earliest) and the MTA, knowing people already have to wait in the cold a long time because of traffic patterns the bus MUST use probably was concerned, and especially if anything caused that route to be altered in any way that the horses being transported between Aqueduct and Belmont would interfere with the shuttle buses that some have to use just to get basic necessities (because of businesses in the Rockaways still unable to reopen following Sandy). That's a factor that never has previously been in play.
W.G. More than 1 year ago
Meant the MTA is running shuttle buses, not NYRA in the last post.