The New York Racing Association, working jointly with the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association and under the advice and recommendation of the New York State Gaming Commission, today announced it is cancelling Saturday’s card at Saratoga Race Course due to excessive heat forecast for Saratoga Springs.
“This is a responsible and prudent decision that aligns with our New York Racetrack Heat Management Protocol designed to ensure safe racing for all participants,” said NYSGC Equine Medical Director Dr. Scott E. Palmer.
The National Weather Service is predicting heat indices for Saturday ranging from 105 – 110 degrees. The index is derived from the combined effects of air temperature, wind speed and humidity.
The Coaching Club American Oaks and the entire card for Saturday is postponed until Sunday and will be run with the original Sunday feature, The Shuvee.
Delaware Park yesterday cancelled its Saturday program and the Maryland Jockey Club today decided to cancel its live racing programs at Laurel Park on Saturday, July 20 and Sunday, July 21. Also cancelled is Saturday racing at Finger Lakes and Parx.
Monmouth Park and its seasonal feature, the Haskell Invitational, is the only racetrack in the area that is still scheduled to race on Saturday.
Monmouth Park will deploy excessive heat protocols Saturday, designed to assist horses and humans during the forecast heat wave.
No possible contingencies for cancellation were stated. However, extra emergency medical technicians, ice containers, and additional hoses for horses before and after the races along with a misting system in the paddock are among the measures listed to combat the heat.
Additionally, shortened post parades will occur throughout the day and water trucks will be equipped to hose down any horses in distress on the track.
Races may be delayed until later in the afternoon even if it impacts NBC’s ability to show the race from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m . Post Time is currently scheduled for 5:47 p.m.