Updated on 08/30/2011 11:30AM

Saratoga calls off Sunday program, reschedules Personal Ensign

Barbara D. Livingston
The scene near Bill Mott's barn at Saratoga reflects how much water Hurricane Irene dumped on the region.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y.-  With the remnants of Hurricane Irene expected to impact the area, the New York Racing Association has canceled Sunday’s 11-race card at Saratoga, officials announced late Saturday afternoon. Earlier in the day, NYRA had already canceled simulcast wagering at Aqueduct and Belmont.

According to NYRA officials, Sunday’s forecast called for more than five inches of rain and winds expected to be between 30 and 40 miles per-hour.

 “They’re predicting at least five inches of rain, winds 30 to 40 with gusts up to 60 and it’s going to be raining until the middle of [Sunday] afternoon,’’ NYRA president Charles Hayward said. “You couldn’t run because of the rain, you couldn’t run because of the wind, and you certainly couldn’t run for both of them.’’

Hayward said there would be no training at Saratoga, Belmont, or Aqueduct on Sunday.

This marks just the second full-card cancellation in Saratoga’s history. On Aug. 2, 2006, Saratoga canceled due to extreme heat.

NYRA officials said Sunday’s Grade 1, $300,000 Personal Ensign Invitational will be brought back for next Saturday. It will be open to all invitees and be re-drawn on Wednesday. Next Saturday’s card also includes the Grade 1, $750,000 Woodward and Grade 1, $250,000 Forego Stakes.

Hayward said that NYRA would attempt to run additional races during the course of the final week.

In addition, Monmouth Park, Parx Racing, and Timonium at the Maryland State Fair also called off their Sunday programs.