Updated on 06/11/2011 1:24PM

Belmont Park cancels Thursday card due to excessive heat

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Barbara D. Livingston
Master of Hounds cools off in his stall with the help of some fans Thursday at Belmont Park.

ELMONT, N.Y. – Belmont Park canceled Thursday’s nine-race program due to extreme heat. The track was open for simulcasting in the air-conditioned Belmont Cafe.

Thursday’s forecast called for high temperatures in the mid to upper 90s with a heat index over 100, according to P.J. Campo, vice-president/director of racing for the New York Racing Association. Campo said the decision to cancel was made after consultation with upper management as well as track superintendent Glen Kozak and track veterinarian Dr. Anthony Verderosa. The safety of the horses was a concern.

“The risk is not worth the reward,” Campo said.

Campo said some of Thursday’s races would be brought back as extra races next week.

Racing was expected to resume 1 p.m. Friday, with a 10-race card that includes the Brooklyn Handicap and Poker Stakes.

Saturday is Belmont Stakes Day, with a 13-race program that begins at 11:35 a.m. Belmont will again be dark Sunday.