01/31/2002 12:00AM

Aqueduct to close Monday simulcasting

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Citing poor business, New York Racing Association chairman Barry Schwartz said on Thursday that Aqueduct would be closed for simulcasting on Mondays beginning Feb. 4.

Schwartz said NYRA could no longer justify the expense of keeping Aqueduct open when handle on two major Monday signals, Gulfstream and Fair Grounds, had failed to live up to expectations.

"The quality of racing has been so poor at Gulfstream that we're just not doing the same numbers," Schwartz said. "We're way down, and there's no reason to keep the track open."

The decision will only impact Aqueduct. Racing fans can still wager on Monday signals at New York's off-track betting parlors.

Schwartz said handle on Gulfstream has been impacted by short fields at the track and fewer races. Gulfstream has had difficulty filling races this meet.