09/30/2004 11:00PM

Charles Town shut again

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Charles Town racetrack has closed for live racing for the second time in three weeks after drainage problems with the track's racing surface reemerged.

Eric Schippers, a spokesman for Charles Town's parent company, Penn National Gaming, said the track is expected to be closed until Friday, the day before Charles Town is scheduled to hold its annual statebred stakes day, the West Virginia Breeders Classics.

"Our first priority is to ensure the safety of the track for the jockeys and horses," Schippers said.

Charles Town was closed from Sept. 15 to 24 because of drainage problems, which track officials said were exacerbated by rainfall from Hurricanes Ivan and Jeanne. Maintenance crews dug up the surface and added soil to the track's foundation in an effort to get water to run off more evenly.

Charles Town completely renovated its racing surface in August.