Winter Storm Landon and the freezing temperatures blanketing the central US wiped out racing at three tracks on Thursday, most prominently at Oaklawn Park, which announced it’s canceling racing this weekend.
Along with that Arkansas track, Sam Houston Race Park in Texas and Turfway Park in Kentucky both scrubbed their Thursday cards.
“It’s never an easy decision to cancel live racing, but it’s the right decision for the safety of our horses and our fans traveling this weekend,” Oaklawn General Manager Wayne Smith said in a statement. “We’re looking forward to an outstanding weekend Feb. 11-13, featuring two graded stakes and the Voices of Rock concert in the Oaklawn Event Center next Saturday.”
The biggest casualty from Oaklawn’s racing standpoint was scratching Saturday’s Grade 3 Bayakoa Stakes. That 1 1/16-mile race for older fillies and mares moves back a week, to Feb. 12. There, it joins the Grade 3 Razorback Handicap for older horses as the co-features on that day’s 11-race card.
This sets up a strong Oaklawn card next week
Both races outkick their grade in terms of quality. Last year’s Bayakoa winner was Monomoy Girl, the reigning Champion Older Female Horse, and a two-time Eclipse Award winner.
Last year’s Razorback Handicap winner was Mystic Guide. All he did the following month was win the $12 million Dubai World Cup.
Oaklawn officials announced they would reschedule the lost dates on three consecutive Thursdays in March: the 17th, 24th and 31st.
Last year, Oaklawn canceled consecutive weekend cards due to a fierce winter storm and its effects.
Fog rolls into Aqueduct
Meanwhile, at Aqueduct in New York, that track canceled Thursday’s ninth and final race due to fog.
Aqueduct already canceled the Jan. 15 card due to dangerously low temperatures and wind-chill factors. It scratched the Jan. 29 card due to a powerful winter storm pelting the New York City region.
That kept Aqueduct’s Pick 6 intact, pushing the $31,130 carryover into Friday.