01/29/2010 1:00AM

Oaklawn cancels due to power outage


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Oaklawn Park canceled its live and simulcast racing for Friday due to a power outage in the area.

The track lost power shortly before 1 p.m. Central due to a downed transformer line across the street from the Hot Springs, Ark., track. Management was able to restore power to parts of the track and the tote system with a backup generator, but canceled the card at 1:35 p.m. after efforts to restore power in the area started causing generator surges at Oaklawn. First post for Friday had been scheduled for 1:30 p.m.

Hot Springs had experienced rain and sleet overnight and into the late morning Friday, which played a role in the power outage.

"A power pole that had too much ice on it really close to our facility went down," said David Longinotti, assistant general manager of racing at Oaklawn. "And it's still down."

Longinotti said electric company officials informed Oaklawn that full power would not be able to be restored until nightfall. The track proceeded to cancel its live card, and will make a decision on the Saturday program on Saturday morning. The weather will be the deciding factor, as there could be further winter precipitation overnight in Hot Springs.

Longinotti expects Pat Pope, racing secretary at Oaklawn, to bring back the bulk of the races that were lost Friday.