Updated on 09/17/2011 11:31AM

Pimlico stakes taken off turf


BALTIMORE - Pimlico officials early on Friday canceled the Joe Aitcheson Hurdle, a Grade 1 steeplechase race, and took all the races on Friday off the turf after a powerful rain storm began soaking the Baltimore area early that morning.

The Joe Aitcheson had drawn 12 horses, and was scheduled for 2 1/8 miles over Pimlico's turf course. Mike Gathagan, Pimlico's director of communications, said that officials of the National Steeplechase Association will determine when to reschedule the race after Saturday's Preakness.

Three races on on Friday were scheduled for the turf, including the five-furlong The Very One Stakes for fillies and mares, 3-years-old and up. All three races were part of Pimlico's guaranteed pick four bets. The first pick four, linking races 4-7, is guaranteed for $50,000, and the second, linking races 9-12, is guaranteed for $100,000.

The on Friday morning called for continued showers throughout the day. The forecast for Saturday's Preakness is partly cloudy, with a high in the mid- to high-50s.