09/18/2003 11:00PM

Isabel halts some cards


As a weakened Hurricane Isabel moved northward into Canada on Friday, it left little lasting damage at racetracks iin its wake despite disrupting some racing cards.

Woodbine Race Course in Toronto canceled its live racing for Friday, citing heavy rainfall and powerful winds. The track will likely be the last to be affected by Isabel, which hit the East Coast of the United states Thursday afternoon.

At Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, just north of the landfall point for Isabel, the storm did very little damage to the racetrack or racing surface, according to Pimlico's chief operating officer, Lou Raffetto. The track stuck to its plan not to hold live racing or to open the track for training on Friday, but all systems were go for Saturday, Raffetto said.

At Monmouth Park in New Jersey, the Thursday card was called off after three races when jockeys complained about wind gusts. Following the late-afternoon storm, no damage was detected to the track or barns, according to Bob Kulina, the track's general manager, and Monmouth carried on with its Friday card. The track will likely resume racing on the turf course on Sunday, Kulina said.

Penn National Race Course in Pennsylvania had expected to run a live racing card on Thursday night, but jockeys voted to cancel the rest of racing after two races. The jockeys said that winds were inconsistent.

Charles Town Races in West Virginia canceled its Thursday card before the storm hit, and on Friday, the track was scheduled to hold its regular nighttime card, according to a spokesman. No damage was done to the track or facility.

Hurricane Isabel had minimum impact on Belmont Park, other than a few downed tree limbs and branches scattered about the backstretch. Both the training and main tracks were open for business on Friday. The track condition was listed as fast for the afternoon's races. No turf races were carded for the program.