10/12/2005 12:00AM

Rains halt NYC-area racing


Rainstorms across the northeastern United States led to the cancellation of the live racing cards on Wednesday at Belmont Park in New York and The Meadowlands in New Jersey.

The amount of rain, in fact, led Meadowlands to cancel its Thursday-night card as well, and to reschedule a Friday-night turf stakes, the Grade 3, $150,000 Cliff Hanger Stakes, for the Saturday card, in order to give the turf course more time to dry out.

The Meadowlands has been unable to run a full card since Friday. It canceled the card after one race Saturday and after three on Tuesday. According to Dennis Dowd, the track's senior vice president of racing, crews have been working on the track since then to get the surface back into working shape, but continued rains have caused numerous setbacks.

"The problem right now is that there are inconsistencies with the track," Dowd said. Dowd said the track would decide by 10 a.m. on Friday whether to resume racing that evening.

At Belmont, racing is not scheduled to resume until Friday. Belmont is dark on Thursday for the Yom Kippur holiday.

Both tracks said that they would remain open for simulcasting.