09/23/2005 12:00AM

Hurricane shutters tracks


Louisiana Downs announced Friday that live racing would be canceled Saturday and Sunday with Hurricane Rita moving closer to the coastlines of Louisiana and Texas. Elsewhere in the state, Evangeline Downs on Friday called off its two remaining live cards of the Thoroughbred meet that was to end Saturday.

Delta Downs, another Louisiana track less than an hour from the coast, had previously announced plans to close simulcasting from Friday through Sunday.

In other closings because of Hurricane Rita, Sam Houston Race Park, located about one hour from the Texas coast in Houston, shut down its facility, and was to remain closed through at least Saturday.

Louisiana Downs management decided to cancel racing late Friday morning after meeting with city officials, who had been in contact with the National Weather Service.

Louisiana Downs and Evangeline are both scheduled to remain open for simulcasting. Evangeline, however, has postponed taking the first set of entries for its upcoming Quarter Horse meet from Sunday to Wednesday.

- additional reporting by Jeff Taylor