04/24/2002 11:00PM

MATCH series cancelled for 2002

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The Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred Championship Series - popularly known as the MATCH series - has been cancelled this year because of scheduling problems in New Jersey and Maryland, the creator of the series said Thursday.

The scheduling problems stemmed from the loss of purse supplements in both states and a dispute between New Jersey horsemen and racetracks that was settled last week, according to the creator, Alan Foreman, the chairman of the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association.

Foreman said that scheduling for the series is normally completed by December of the previous year. No work had been done this year on scheduling as of April, Foreman said.

"It required cooperation between all the racing secretaries, and normally we do that in November and December," Foreman said. "This year, we weren't able to get that done. It's just too late, and we didn't want to throw something together at the last minute just for the sake of doing it."

The series, which linked 30 races in four states over seven months and awarded cash bonuses to owners, trainers and jockeys, will return next year, Foreman said.