06/26/2012 7:20PM

Churchill Downs cancels Thursday card due to heat wave

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. – More than 36 hours ahead of time, Churchill Downs announced Tuesday evening that they have canceled the nine-race card scheduled for Thursday afternoon because of an oppressive heat wave that is being forecast for this region.

Thursday was to begin the final four-day week of the 39-day spring meet with a 12:45 p.m. post time, but with the weather forecast calling for a high temperature of 104 degrees, the decision was made to cancel, Churchill spokesman John Asher said.

An 11-race twilight card Friday is set to begin at 2:45 p.m., but Asher said no decision has been made beyond Thursday. The forecasted high for Friday is 103 degrees.

“We’re taking it one day at a time and will continue to closely monitor the situation,” he said.

Saturday night (6 p.m.) and Sunday (12:45 p.m.) are scheduled to close out the meet with the Grade 3 Bashford Manor and Grade 2 Firecracker Handicap, respectively. The forecasted daytime highs for those respective days are 99 and 96.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can remember ALOT of horses in NJ (GS
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
GSP, MTH, ATL) being struck by the heat, what is it called? I forget, but it's a tough thing to see a horse lose it like that, losing motor functions, the inability to stand.....heat prostration? Good move, CD
Jack More than 1 year ago
Good for Churchill, Now I wish ALL tracks would be CLOSED on Sunday's and GIVE the Jocks, trainer's and the Horse- Player's time to spend with family and friends, Sunday a day of rest......
jockeyboy More than 1 year ago
Wise move by CD!
thomas j More than 1 year ago
It's the heat index you check out, in relation to the actual temperature. For example, the temperature in Arizona might be 104 but the heat index only 98 because of the dry heat. Conversely, the temperature in south Florida might be 93 but the heat index 115. 100 degrees thermometer temperature is too hot in Kentucky.The horses have not become acclimated to it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The forecast for Thursday at 6 pm is still 100 degrees. I assume it's about the same for Friday at 6. Hot, hot, hot.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm just wondering if they will make the days up if the rst of the week is cancelled. This is Churchill's closing weekend. Sunday is closing day. They are supposed to have 2 graded stakes this weekend too. Will they run them at Ellis Park if cancelled or will Churchil add an exta weekend? I know they have simulcasting there so some people are already scheduled to work. I'm sure more would volunteer. I say put those lights to use and go with 6:00 start times like some have already said. What better time than now? Problem with that is the sun doesn't go down until after 9 so it will still be very hot at the beginning. It will still be in the hundreds at 6:00.
W.G. More than 1 year ago
Yes, it's still hot, but the big thing for a 6:00 or 7:00 PM start (I would look at possibly making all remaining cards 7:00 PM first posts even if it means the last race goes off after midnight local time) is the sun is much less intense at that point than during the day. I would myself have already canceled Friday unless everyone agreed to a 7:00 PM start, and I would also announce Saturday's and Sunday's programs would also go at 7:00 PM. If Churchill needs to make up any programs from this week, I would add Wednesday, July 4 (two days before Ellis opens) as a makeup day. That is a day most people have off anyway, and especially if the two stakes this weekend are lost due to cancellations could be made up then. If the cards are lost and Churchill can't make up any days before Ellis opens, then I would bring the stakes back in the fall. Personally, as noted before, I would make up any days lost now during the fall meet when Churchill should have enough horses to actually run six-day weeks (even with eight races on weekdays) if necessary to do so by adding Tuesday programs. This is what I would have done last year to make up the card lost by the tornado rather than try to jam extra races into the final days of the season.
Daniel Peters More than 1 year ago
Nice move on the stewards.. and Trainers and owners.. Too hot
myjockwon More than 1 year ago
surprised churchill didnt wait till they ran the second race on thursday so the patrons could pay there admissions, programs, forms, food, and everything else they charge for. O YEAH and let the poor trainers and owners pay to ship and medicate before they cancelled.
W.G. More than 1 year ago
Thursday is the least important day of the Churchill week. The could have made that a night program with first post at 7:00 PM if they felt they could get the card to go then, but it might have been too much of a hassle even with 48 hours notice to switch to a night program. As said, they probably would be better off making all of the remaining cards night programs with a 6:00 PM first post on Friday and 5:30 PM first post on Sunday.
W.G. More than 1 year ago
Also, there already is a fire watch on Thursday from 11:00 PM to 8:00 PM local time in Louisville, and the fire department may have asked Churchill to cancel now out of concerns if something happened there it could create major problems.
Mike Moon More than 1 year ago
Wouldn't surprise, would it?
W.G. More than 1 year ago
Excellent move by Churchill to cancel ahead of time. In light of the forecast, I would look to go with all night programs for the end of the meet with post for Friday moved from 2:45 to 6:00 PM and Sunday moved back from 12:45 to a 5:30 PM start time (Saturday's program was already scheduled to be at night) so the programs can be raced when the heat is less intense. As for the canceled day, I would not try to jam extra races into the end of the meet but instead make the day up during the fall meet by adding a Tuesday program on Election Day (November 6) when more horses are available (thanks to so many two year olds on the grounds) and Churchill can get away with one six-day week.
Wayne Haehner More than 1 year ago
delaware just raced last thursday with a heat index of 105
W.G. More than 1 year ago
The actual temperature at Delaware Park was 95 and probably just tolerable enough for them to race, which I was surprised given in recent years they have actually canceled more cards than anyone else due to the extreme heat.