Updated on 01/14/2013 11:27AM

Oaklawn: Rain washes out Saturday, Sunday live cards

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Oaklawn Park canceled Saturday and Sunday’s races after heavy rains made for unsafe track conditions. Racing is expected to resume as scheduled on Thursday.

The weekend cancellation was made before the start of the first race Saturday after rains hit hard, with one estimate being two inches fell during a 30-minute period, said David Longinotti, assistant general manager for racing at Oaklawn. There is one significant washout at the 7 1/2- furlong pole, he said, and the area will need to dry out before crews can work on surface repairs. As such, there will be no training on Sunday.

“We didn’t have a choice,” Longinotti said of canceling Saturday and Sunday.

Oaklawn’s infield was also saturated with water, and one theory is that the ground could take no more after Hot Springs was hit with a snowstorm on Dec. 25. Some areas received in excess of 10 inches of snow. Rains fell throughout the day Saturday, with a hard rain hitting less than an hour before post. The washout entering the first turn is about six inches deep, two to three feet in width at its widest point, and 15 feet long, estimated Longinotti.

Oaklawn does not make up race dates, but Longinotti said the $60,000 Dixie Belle, which was the feature for Saturday, will be brought back next Sunday, Jan. 20.

Oaklawn opened its meet Friday under sunny skies and temperatures in the 60s, drawing an ontrack crowd of 19,633. The last time the track was forced to cancel part of its opening weekend was 2011.