Rain forces Indiana Downs cancellation
August 29, 2009
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Steady rainfall throughout central Indiana Friday afternoon, August 28 led to the cancellation of racing at Indiana Downs. The Shelbyville oval, which was to host a 13-race program, suspended racing due to issues with the racing surface. The card included two $25,000 Indiana Sires Stakes contests for sophomore colt trotters that will be raced Monday, August 31.
“We had some track safety issues,” said Indiana Downs general manager Jon Schuster.
According to Schuster, the material used on the racing strip can, at times, present problems. He noted that the stone can deteriorate quickly with rain, presenting a challenge for track maintenance. Rainfall Friday evening, August 21 also led to the cancellation of the last four races on the program.
“We’ve got chronic problems here with the type of stone we have,” he added. “If maintenance isn’t just perfect, we’re eligible to several track maladies.”
With the cancellation of the card, management has been presented with new challenges. In order to move the third round of sires stakes to Monday, the track needs to drop a race from the program. Indiana’s pari-mutuel venues are allowed to offer no more than 14 races on a program, with 13 contests slated for Monday. The card already includes four Indiana Sires Stakes races; three for freshman filly pacers and one division for three-year-old filly trotters.
“Because sires stakes take precedence, we have to eliminate a race to accommodate,” Schuster stated.