02/11/2016 5:10PM

Parx delays opening of track for training until Monday


Parx Racing is pushing back the reopening of its track for training until Monday.

Parx had been scheduled to open for “limited training” on Friday, but Sam Elliott, the track’s director of racing, said late Thursday afternoon that the track was not quite ready and that track superintendent Gerard Weipert needed to finish leveling the base around the inner part of the racing surface.

“Gerard made a lot of progress today but we’re not ready to reopen Friday,” Elliott said. “With single-digit temperatures expected this weekend we are just going to wait until Monday to reopen for training.”

The resumption of training has been delayed several times in the last two weeks.

The Parx racing season is scheduled to begin Feb. 20, but it is possible it could be delayed another week. A decision is expected Friday. The meet was originally scheduled to open Feb. 13.

Parx closed its track for training on Jan. 3 to install a new safety rail around the main track. The initial estimate was that the track would be closed three weeks.

The safety rail installation took longer than planned, however, and once it was finished it was discovered that the base of the racetrack along the inside was not level in certain areas. Winter weather also interfered with the rail installation and track maintenance.

Elliott said any days lost at the beginning of the meet would be made up. Sunday racing already has been added in April to make up for the cancellation of the first four days of the season.

If the beginning of the meet is pushed back beyond Feb. 20, Elliott said he would likely issue a new condition book.