07/18/2007 12:00AM

Belmont cancels Wednesday card


ELMONT, N.Y. - Heavy rains that caused flooding on the backstretch and on major roads near the track prompted Belmont Park officials to cancel Wednesday's live racing card. The track was also closed for simulcasting, though fans could wager on other tracks through the New York Racing Association's telebet and Internet services.

Heavy rain fell swiftly during training hours Monday morning, forcing officials to close the track for training at 8:30. The track had been open during the storms and absorbed a tremendous amount of water.

Meanwhile, the ferocity of the rain flooded certain areas of the backstretch, forcing some trainers to relocate their horses to the detention barn.

Roads, including the Cross Island Parkway - which is the major access highway to Belmont - flooded out and were subject to closure. Some traffic was diverted from the Cross Island Parkway through the Belmont parking lot.

There has been no official word on whether any of the five scheduled turf races for Thursday will be run on the turf. The racing office plans to bring back seven of Wednesday's nine dirt races for Friday and is unlikely to card turf for that day's card.