01/22/2005 1:00AM

Blizzard knocks out racing

Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club
A snowstorm that hit the Baltimore-Washington region Saturday morning forced Maryland Jockey Club officials to cancel live racing at Laurel Park and simulcasting at Laurel and its sister track Pimlico Race Course.

A blizzard expected to dump more than a foot of snow in some places caused cancellations Saturday and Sunday at racetracks throughout the East and Midwest.

Laurel Park, in Laurel, Md., which was scheduled to open for the first time in 10 months after renovating its facility and racing surface, canceled Saturday. The planned opening-day promotions will be held next Saturday, as will the opening-day feature, the $50,000 What a Summer Stakes. Sunday was the next scheduled day of racing at Laurel.

Aqueduct, in Ozone Park, N.Y., canceled for Saturday and Sunday. The $100,000 Aqueduct Handicap, scheduled for Saturday, will be run next Sunday. The stakes will be reopened to all original nominees and redrawn on Friday. The Sunday card will be run Thursday, and there will be no draw on Sunday. Aqueduct is slated to resume racing Wednesday, with a pick six carryover of $25,775.

Turfway Park, in Florence, Ky., canceled after the fourth race Friday because of a frozen track and Saturday because of high winds. Turfway was scheduled to race Sunday.

Also canceling for Saturday and Sunday were Mountaineer Park, in Chester, W.Va.; Charles Town Races, in Charles Town, W.Va.; and Philadelphia Park, in Bensalem, Pa. Penn National, in Grantville, Pa., canceled for Saturday. Beulah Park, in Grove City, Ohio, canceled for Friday and Saturday.