12/27/2002 12:00AM

Big A race lost via tractor stall


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - After a delay of 37 minutes between the sixth and seventh races because of a tractor stalling on the track, Friday's ninth race at Aqueduct was canceled because of darkness.

The tractor was working the track after the sixth race when a hydraulic line broke and the tractor ran out of oil, said NYRA equipment supervisor Rich Sciortino. The tractor stopped on the backstretch, near the half-mile pole.

The cancellation announcement was made shortly before the eighth race - the final leg of a pick six with a $57,900 carryover. There were no pick six winners, resulting in a two-day $168,166 carryover going into Saturday. The sixth-through-ninth race pick four paid off on "all" in the ninth race. All wagers on the late daily double were refunded. There was a consolation pick-three payoff on the seventh, eighth, and ninth.

A snowstorm hit the area on Wednesday, and tractors were working on the track Friday as it was thawing out.

"We had to closely monitor and work the track the last several days, and today's tractor breakdown complicated the situation," said Terry Meyocks, NYRA president. "We accelerated post times prior to the tractor breakdown in an attempt to finish the race day at 4 p.m., but that was negated by the long delay."