02/14/2007 1:00AM

Winter weather shutters tracks


Aqueduct officials announced on Tuesday that the track would not conduct live racing or simulcasting on Wednesday because of a weather forecast that called for a mixed bag of snow, freezing rain and rain. The inner track was also to be closed for training.

The cancellation brought to five the number of Eastern and Midewstern tracks canceling programs because of winter weather.

Wednesday's Aqueduct card, including the $65,000 Champagneforashley Stakes for New York breds, will be run in its entirety on Friday. The pick-six carryover of $54,441 will be available on Thursday.

"Aqueduct's inner track will be closed for both training and racing tomorrow, giving our track maintenance crew the best opportunity to have the racetrack in the best possible condition for the balance of the week," said Bill Nader, the chief operating officer for the New York Racing Association. "The decision to cancel Wednesday is to minimize the damage from this storm to a one-day event, preserving and protecting the condition of the inner track."

Laurel Park canceled racing for Wednesday after a winter storm moved into the area on Tuesday night and was expected to drop freezing rain and snow throughout the day.

Officials for the track said that they expected racing to resume on Thursday. Laurel remained open on Wednesday for simulcasting.

Four of the nine races on the Wednesday card will be rescheduled for a 10-race card on Saturday, which also features the Grade 2, $300,000 Barbara Fritchie Breeders' Cup Handicap and the $115,000 John B. Campbell Handicap. Entries for the two Saturday stakes races were scheduled to be taken on Wednesday afternoon.

* Penn National Race Course, which has been closed for live racing by cold weather since Feb. 1, called off its Tuesday and Wednesday programs in anticipation of the mid-Atlantic region's first major snowstorm of the season.

* Beulah Park and Mountaineer Race Track canceled programs on Tuesday because of heavy snowfall. The cancellation was the third full card Beulah has lost over the past eight days. Mountaineer has lost seven cards because of either bad weather or poor track conditions since Jan. 28.