01/10/2004 12:00AM

Cold forces Aqueduct to cancel


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Aqueduct was one of several tracks to cancel on Saturday due to the extreme cold that has gripped the northeast. The decision to cancel Aqueduct's nine-race card was made by 8 a.m. when the temperature was 1 degree and the wind chill factor was well-below zero.

Aqueduct had canceled the final five races on Friday's card for similar reasons. Aqueduct remained open for simulcasting on Saturday and track officials were hopeful live racing would resume Sunday when temperatures were expected to get back into the mid 20's. A pick six carryover of nearly $98,000 would be rolled over to Sunday's card.

The Grade 3, $100,000 Affectionately Handicap scheduled for Saturday, has been re-scheduled for next Saturday as a co-feature on a card that also includes the Grade 3, $100,000 Aqueduct Handicap. The Affectionately, run at 1 1/16 miles on the inner track, will be open to original nominees and re-drawn on Thursday.

Aqueduct has been forced to cancel part or all of six cards since the inner track opened on Dec. 3. Two full cards scheduled for the main track were canceled in November due to high winds.

* Laurel Park canceled its nine-race card Saturday after the jockeys refused to ride due to the cold. As of Saturday afternoon a decision had not been made concerning the rescheduling of Saturday's $75,000 Native Dancer Stakes.

* Philadelphia Park and Penn National also canceled their Saturday programs due to the extreme cold.