07/05/2012 12:19PM

Delaware cancels Saturday card because of heat

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The combination of temperatures expected to crest above 100 degrees and high humidity has caused one track in the Mid-Atlantic region to cancel its live racing card on Saturday and another to push back its first post time by one hour.

For the second straight Saturday, Delaware Park has called off its live racing because of a heat wave. The National Weather Service has predicted a high temperature of 101 degrees, with a heat index of up to 109, in the Wilmington, Del., area.

Dr. John Peters, chief veterinarian for the Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission, said racing under such conditions would pose substantial health risk to horses, riders, and participants.

The races scheduled for Saturday, including the Par Four overnight stakes for 2-year-olds, will be brought back as extra races and redrawn next week.

Racing is expected to resume Monday.

Penn National Race Course in central Pennsylvania will begin its racing programs on Friday and Saturday one hour later than usual at 7 p.m. Eastern.

“We did this last Saturday night, and the extra hour from our regular 6 p.m. post time helped,” said Mark Loewe, Penn National’s vice president of racing. “We will continue to monitor this on a daily basis in the best interests of the horses and jockeys.”

Lowe also said that Penn National will add a special Tuesday evening card on July 24 with first post time of 6 p.m.