10/28/2006 12:00AM

Rain and wind force Aqueduct cancellation


A storm that brought heavy rains and strong winds to the New York metropolitan area Friday night into Saturday morning prompted New York Racing Association officials to cancel Saturday's live racing at Aqueduct. The facility was also closed for simulcasting.

More than an inch of rain had fallen by Saturday morning, and at least another inch was forecast, though, by what would have been post time Saturday, the skies were starting to brighten. The forecast also called for wind gusts exceeding 40 miles per hour.

"The weather was bad this morning and didn't seem like it was going to get any better," said NYRA racing secretary P.J. Campo. "We spoke to some trainers who train here this morning, and they said their riders were being blown all over the place."

The two stakes scheduled for Saturday - the Grade 2, $150,000 First Flight Handicap and the Grade 3, $150,000 Sport Page Handicap - will be run next Saturday. There will now be five graded stakes run on Breeders' Cup Day. Also being run next Saturday are the Grade 3, $100,000 Knickerbocker Handicap, which had already been postponed from Saturday; the Grade 2, $150,000 Long Island Handicap; and the Grade 3, $100,000 Turnback the Alarm Handicap.

Five of the six races scheduled for next Saturday will be graded stakes. First post next Saturday will be 11:35 a.m.