07/13/2006 11:00PM

Prairie Meadows cancels 9 Thursday races

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Prairie Meadows canceled the final nine races on opening night of its 36-day mixed meeting Thursday because of unsafe track conditions caused by a deluge of rain that hit the central Iowa area about 10 minutes before the only race of the evening was run.

Despite the threat of rain, the track was being harrowed when the storm hit instead of sealed. The first race, a $14,000 claiming event, was run without incident over a track listed as sloppy, with 2-1 favorite Gato Bob scoring a 2 1/2-length victory.

After the first race, the track was sealed, creating 6- to 8-inch ridges near the quarter-mile marker, according to track officials. The remainder of the card was then canceled by track management.

Racing was scheduled to resume at Prairie Meadows on Friday evening.