03/08/2003 1:00AM

Gotham to be run on inner


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - The opening of Aqueduct's main track has been delayed indefinitely because of persistent winter weather in New York. The main track originally was scheduled to open on Wednesday, but last week the opening was pushed back by two days and now racing will be conducted on the inner track at least through Sunday.

As a result, next Sunday's $200,000 Gotham, a Kentucky Derby prep, will be run on the inner track at a mile and 70 yards around two turns. The Grade 3 Gotham was scheduled to be run at a one-turn mile on the main track. The last time the Gotham was run on the inner track was in 1984.

Racing will remain on the inner track until the main track opens.

Racing at Aqueduct was canceled last Thursday because of snow and then after the first race on Friday because of thawing track conditions. Management canceled Saturday's card on Friday afternoon.

The $75,000 Stymie Handicap, scheduled for last Saturday, will now be run on Gotham Day at its scheduled distance of 1 1/8 miles.

The Toboggan and Broadway handicaps, scheduled to be run this Saturday at seven furlongs on the main track, will now be run the same day at six furlongs on the inner track.

The Aqueduct spring meet, which ends on May 4, officially will begin on Wednesday. Post time for the first race will revert from 12:30 to 1 p.m.

* Because of an uneven racing surface, Beulah Park in Grove City, Ohio, canceled after the fourth race of its scheduled eight-race card Saturday. It was the third straight card cut short due to track condition.