12/05/2002 12:00AM

Snowstorm KO's four Thursday cards

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Four Thoroughbred racetracks on the East Coast canceled live racing on Thursday because of a sustained winter snowstorm that dropped as much as eight inches of snow in some locations.

Laurel Park in Maryland, Penn National in Pennsylvania, Aqueduct in New York, and Charles Town in West Virginia all canceled their cards Thursday morning. Three harness tracks, Meadowlands, Rosecroft, and Freehold, also canceled their live cards.

According to the National Weather Service, the storm was expected to weaken considerably on Thursday afternoon. Sunny skies were forecast for Friday morning, and most tracks were expecting to race that day.

"It's supposed to be cold tonight, so that will mean the snow will harden, and that should make it easy for us tomorrow," said Richard Schnaars, the general manager of Penn National, on Thursday. "We'll blow the stuff off tomorrow morning and race tomorrow night."