06/30/2007 11:00PM

Lone Star cancels after sudden rainstorm


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - Lone Star Park canceled the fourth through ninth races Sunday following a heavy, sudden rainstorm that left areas of the track unsafe for racing. According to officials, eight-tenths of an inch of rain fell within 15 minutes.

"When the riders went on the track, they felt there were some washouts, and that water was still draining off the track," said Drew Shubeck, president and general manager of Lone Star.

Shubeck said the jockeys decided not to ride, and the program was canceled. He said it is Lone Star's intent to make up the lost races by adding races to existing cards later in the meet. The season runs through July 29.

The rainstorm hit when horses were in the paddock with 12 minutes to post for race 4. The horses came on the track, but lightning moved into the area and they were returned to the paddock. After a second post parade, the card was canceled. Shubeck said the storm began at 2:44 p.m. Central. The races were canceled at about 3:30 p.m.

Rainfall levels have been well above average for the past two months. More than 19 inches of rain have fallen in Grand Prairie in May and June. On average, normal rainfall is five inches in June and three in May.

The last weather-related cancellation at Lone Star came in July 2002.