02/22/2003 1:00AM

Six tracks closed due to weather

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Winter weather continued to wreak havoc on racing in the East and Midwest on Saturday, as six tracks were forced to cancel.

Turfway Park canceled its entire program Saturday, marking the eighth consecutive weather-related cancellation at the Florence, Ky., track. The reason once again was inclement weather and an "uneven thawing" of the racetrack surface, according to track management.

There have been severe complications with excess moisture in the track, such as when a tractor became stuck in deep mud in midstretch for at least several hours Friday.

Racing has not been conducted at Turfway since Feb. 12. The Valdale Stakes, which was to be run Saturday, has been rescheduled for March 1.

Beulah Park in Grove City, Ohio was forced to cancel its eight-race program Saturday due a thawing and uneven racing surface. Both of Beulah's previous two scheduled programs were cut short due to unsafe track conditions.

Charles Town (West Va.) canceled both its Saturday and Sunday cards. Bad weather had prevented the track from racing since Friday, Feb. 14.

Mountaineer Race Track in Chester, W. Va. canceled for the fourth straight day Saturday. The track has not raced since Feb. 15.

Suffolk Downs in East Boston, Mass. canceled after its second race Saturday. It was the first time the track had attempted to run since Feb. 15.

Philadelphia Park (Pa.) canceled Saturday's card after losing four days last week due to a snowstorm.

- additional reporting by Dave Basler