07/08/2005 11:00PM

Summit of Speed delayed


MIAMI - Hurricane Dennis managed to accomplish in a single night what nobody else has been able to do all year: slow down Lost in the Fog. At least for one day.

Hurricane Dennis did not score a direct hit on the Miami area, but effects from the storm prompted officials at Calder Race Course to postpone Saturday's $1.9 million Summit of Speed card until Sunday afternoon, when the outstanding 13-race program, which includes four graded stakes, was to be run in its entirety.

A $500,000-guaranteed all-stakes pick five on the Summit of Speed was canceled after the card was switched to Sunday.

A power outage that struck the track at 4 a.m. Saturday ultimately led to the postponement. Heavy rain and high winds associated with Hurricane Dennis pounded the area Friday night and into Saturday morning, with additional bad weather forecast throughout the afternoon on Saturday.

"We had no power throughout the entire facility at 4 a.m., and the power company could not guarantee us a definite time when power might be restored," said Ken Dunn, president of Calder. "We felt by 6 a.m. we owed it to the horsemen to let them know what we were going to do, and at that point the best decision was to postpone the card until Sunday."

Power was eventually restored to the grandstand in time for Calder to offer its regular simulcasting card on Saturday.

"Our racetrack handled the overnight rain well, and from that standpoint we could have raced," said Dunn. "But because of the existing bad weather - the local area was under a tornado watch until 4 p.m. - we felt it would not have been fair to many of our patrons who might have missed a very special race card had we run."

Trainer Greg Gilchrist, who shipped the undefeated Lost in the Fog to Calder from his northern California base last weekend for the $300,000 Carry Back Stakes, applauded the decision.

"I'm in 100 percent complete agreement with the decision to postpone the races under the circumstances," said Gilchrist. "It was the best decision for all concerned, the horsemen and the fans."

Saturday was the second time Calder has postponed one of its marquee events. In 1999 the track postponed its Festival of the Sun for a full week because of Hurricane Irene.