02/13/2014 2:13PM

Turfway Park: Frozen track cancels weekend racing


Citing accumulated snow and ice within its Polytrack racing surface, Turfway Park has canceled racing for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

The cancellations come a little more than a week after Turfway, along with much of northern and Central Kentucky, was hit with freezing rain and snow. These conditions left ice in the racing surface and necessitated cancellations after four races last Saturday and the entire card last Sunday.

“Typically, significant snow accumulation – three inches or more – is simply graded and removed from the surface,” Turfway Park general manager Chip Bach said in a statement. “This year, several minor accumulations and especially snow blown into the surface by high winds resulted in the surface retaining much more precipitation than usual.”

Bitter cold for much of the past week has kept this moisture frozen within the track.

“If you walked on it this morning, you would not have sunk one millimeter,” trainer Jeff Greenhill said. “I don’t blame Turfway management, or the synthetics. It’s the winter – the winter from hell.”

Morning training also is expected to be canceled through the weekend.

Turfway will make up some of the lost races by picking up an optional day on Sunday, March 2, and by carding 11 races instead of nine through the end of the meet if entries support larger cards, according to Tyler Picklesimer, Turfway’s director of racing. The meet ends March 29.

The Cincinnati Trophy Stakes, originally planned for Saturday, will not be rescheduled – leaving a void in the stakes schedule. It was positioned as a prep for the March 22 Bourbonette, which along with the Spiral Stakes that same day, is one of only two graded races Turfway runs. Both are Grade 3 races.

The northern Kentucky area where Turfway is located is forecasted to receive light snow Friday, with high temperatures hovering in the low 30s through the weekend.

A warming trend is predicted to begin Monday, with highs expected to reach the upper 50s and low 60s toward the middle of next week.

“Once this track thaws, it will be fine,” Greenhill said.