05/14/2014 5:06PM

Santa Anita cancels Thursday card because of heat

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ARCADIA, Calif. – Live racing Thursday at Santa Anita has been canceled due to a severe heat wave expected to bring temperatures of 108 degrees to the area.

Track president Tom Ludt said the decision to cancel was made after consulting with the Thoroughbred Owners of Caifornia, the California Thoroughbred Trainers, and the Jockeys' Guild.

“We felt with the conditions, and such a unique spike – 108 degrees – it was the right thing,” Ludt said.

Ludt noted that a cooling trend was expected to begin Friday, with weekend temperatures likely to taper into the 80s. Although no live racing will be held Thursday, the track will be open for simulcast wagering.

In a prepared statement, Ludt said twilight racing Friday is scheduled to proceed.

“The good news is that beginning Friday, temperatures are expected to cool and with our twilight first post time on Friday at 3 p.m., we’re confident we’ll be in good shape, weather-wise,” he said.

The high on Wednesday in Arcadia was 99 degrees. 

Racing secretary Rick Hammerle called the weather “a fluke.” He added the decision to cancel was made to preserve the safety of horses, horsemen and patrons. Three of the best races carded for Thursday will be brought back as extras for Sunday.

The eight-race card originally scheduled for Sunday will be expanded to at least nine races, and will include the three races carried from Thursday. Those include a maiden race for 2-year-old fillies (race 1 Thursday), an allowance race for California-bred fillies and mares (race 6), and a turf allowance for fillies and mares (race 7).