12/14/2002 1:00AM

Tampa, Beulah cancel


OLDSMAR, Fla. - Record rainfall that transformed most of the parking areas into small lakes and flooded the jockeys' quarters forced Tampa Bay Downs officials to cancel the track's opening weekend of racing.

A series of strong fronts swept through the Tampa area, bringing more than five inches of rain. The rains flooded most of the clubhouse and valet parking areas as well as the horsemen's parking lot, with up to three feet of water in spots.

Simulcasting was still offered over the weekend and the $50,000 Inaugural Stakes, which was slated as Saturday's opening day feature, was rescheduled for Tuesday.

- Doug McCoy

* Beulah Park canceled its Saturday card shortly before the scheduled running of the first race when the jockeys refused to ride citing unsafe track conditions caused by a winter storm which hit the central Ohio area Friday evening.

The cancellation was the second of the week at Beulah, which had run the first 63 days of its meeting without incident prior to calling off the last four races on Wednesday afternoon's card.

- Dave Basler