02/15/2003 12:00AM

Cancellations pile up in East, Midwest


Winter weather caused cancellation of several live racing cards in the East and Midwest over the weekend, affecting tracks from Maryland to Nebraska.

Because of heavy snow in the Baltimore and Washington, D.C. areas, the Maryland Jockey Club canceled racing at Laurel Park for both Saturday and Sunday, moving two scheduled stakes - Saturday's Barbara Fritchie Handicap and Sunday's John B. Campbell Handicap - to Monday.

Turfway Park in Florence, Ky., called off both its Saturday and Sunday cards. The Cincinnati-northern Kentucky area had gotten several inches of freezing rain and snow earlier in the week, and Turfway had already scratched its Thursday and Friday cards. The track said that the Dust Commander Stakes, Saturday's feature, would probably be rescheduled before the end of the meet on April 3.

Live racing at Turfway was scheduled to resume Wednesday.

Saturday's card at Fonner Park in Grand Island, Neb., was canceled after a storm Friday night, bringing snow and extreme windchills to the region. A decision on a new date for the Grasmick Handicap was expected on Sunday. The race was to have featured Leaping Plum attempting to win the Grasmick for the eighth time in nine years. Fonner's racing was expected to resume Sunday.

Beulah Park in Grove City, Ohio, called off its Saturday card after six inches of snow fell in central Ohio area. The program was rescheduled for Wednesday afternoon.

Charles Town Races in West Virginia also canceled on Saturday, and racing at Suffolk Downs near Boston was halted after eight races.