Belmont Cancels Thursday Racing, Laurel And Pimlico Cancel Training - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Belmont Cancels Thursday Racing, Laurel And Pimlico Cancel Training

Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y.

The New York Racing Association released the following statement Thursday morning, June 8: 

The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) has canceled live racing Thursday at Belmont Park due to poor air quality conditions forecast to impact Long Island and all of New York State throughout the day on Thursday.

As previously announced, morning training was canceled Thursday at both Saratoga Race Course and Belmont Park. The conditions that necessitated the cancelation of training are likely to persist this afternoon and into the evening. As a result, Thursday's twilight racing program, which featured a 3:05 p.m. first post to kick off the 2023 Belmont Stakes Racing Festival, has been cancelled.

“Safety is paramount as we navigate this unprecedented situation,” said NYRA President & CEO David O'Rourke. “NYRA will actively monitor all available data and weather information as we work toward the resumption of training and racing both here at Belmont Park and at Saratoga Race Course. Based on current forecast models and consultation with our external weather services, we remain optimistic that we will see an improvement in air quality on Friday.”

Thursday's co-featured Grade 2, $200,000 Wonder Again and $150,000 Jersey Girl will be re-scheduled for Sunday, June 11 at Belmont Park. Those races will be brought back as extras for Sunday's card, and re-drawn today.

The indoor facilities at Belmont Park and Aqueduct Racetrack will remain open for simulcasting on Thursday.

Live racing is scheduled to resume on Friday at Belmont Park with an 11-race card, featuring five graded stakes highlighted by a trio of Grade 1 events: the $600,000 New York, the $500,000 Just a Game and the $500,000 Acorn, as well as the Grade 2, $250,000 Belmont Gold Cup and the Grade 3, $200,000 Intercontinental. First post is 12:50 p.m.

According to a tweet from Georganne Hale, vice president of racing development at the Maryland Jockey Club, training at Pimlico and Laurel was also cancelled for Thursday morning. 

Other tracks reporting cancellations on Thursday include Charles Town, Delaware Park, Woodbine, and Penn National.

Read our previous reporting on the air quality issues impacting the East Coast this week, as well as the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority's recommended policy on air quality here.

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