02/18/2010 1:00AM

Will Rogers Downs delays opening


Will Rogers Downs near Tulsa has pushed back the start of its spring Thoroughbred meet from March 6 to March 20, the track announced late Thursday. The season will remain 32 dates in length as originally scheduled, with the track adding four Wednesdays and extending its meet a few additional days, to May 18.

The change in the opening date was made because of extreme winter weather conditions in Oklahoma.

"In the last 45 days, there were 27 of those days that the horses were unable to train due to the weather," Kelly Cathey, the racing secretary at Will Rogers, said in a release issued by the track. "Not being able to train as much could be a safety issue for the horses. We want fit horses and full and competitive fields."

Will Rogers has added the following Wednesdays: April 14, 21 and 28, and May 5. The changes have been approved by the Oklahoma Racing Commission.