Updated on 09/17/2011 12:59PM

Gulfstream cancels Sunday card


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Racing at Gulfsteam Park was cancelled after the second race on Sunday when jockeys refused to continue riding due to an unsafe racetrack. The skies were sunny and the temperature was near 80 degrees at the time of the cancellation.

Nearly the entire jockey colony went out to inspect the racetrack following the conclusion of the second race on Sunday's 10 race program. Following a lengthy discussion amongst themselves and with management, the jockeys voted unanimously not to ride the remainder of the card.

"The track was very uneven," said John Velazquez, a Jockey Guild representative in New York and the leading rider at the current meeting. "Some spots were like concrete and others were very deep and muddy. We understand management tried to do its best but it rained so much overnight there really wasn't much they could do until the track had time to dry out. We came down here to ride not take the day off but our major concern is for our safety and the safety of the horses and it was not a safe track out there today."

Gulfstream Park president Scott Savin was disappointed at the riders decision and felt the track was safe enough to continue the card.

"We closed the track for training this morning to have the time to work on it before the first race and we wouldn't have put the riders and horses out there to begin the day if we didn't we could guarantee a safe racetrack," said Savin. "But I'm not a jockey and I'm not out there riding the horses over the track so I have to respect their decision."

Savin said he was certain racing would resume as scheduled on Monday.

"The cancellation will give us even more time to work the track this afternoon and tonight and we'll be good to go by 1:30 tomorrow(Monday)," said Savin.

Sunday marked the first racetrack related cancellation at Gulfstream Park in three years. Two races had to be cancelled over the main track in 2003 after a horse broke through and destroyed the safety rail on the far turn.