- Racing is canceled at the Big A today (Friday).
“The main track is tight, in good shape, but factoring in that it only opened for racing two days ago and that we have Aqueduct’s best day of racing tomorrow, we are doing everything we can to ensure optimum racing conditions for our big Wood Memorial Day card,” New York Racing Association Racing Secretary and Handicapper P.J. Campo said. “The track is sealed so moisture doesn’t soak in. We’re confident that our cautious approach today will result in excellent racing conditions tomorrow.” [NYRA]It did rain overnight where I am, but not the kind of downpour that one would usually associate with a cancellation (though I can't say for sure what the conditions were at Aqueduct though I'm only a few miles away). NYRA is obviously concerned about the main track and whether it will hold up for Saturday; and with good reason if you go back and read these comments made by track super John Passero (then the director of racing surfaces) to the Form in 2006:
"The cushion needs to stay together and stay in place, and it just will not," Passero said. "When the rain gets into it, it starts to - and the word I'll use for you is - deteriorate."The rain is supposed to move out tomorrow morning, and hopefully it will do so before that. I'm wondering if NYRA has a Plan B involving the inner track to ensure that the big 11 race card goes on as scheduled.
Passero said over the years that the clay base has migrated into the cushion, "and it's changed the properties and the way it reacts. It's all in the way it reacts," he said. "I think this is a huge issue. The material has to be the type of material that will hold together when it's wet, and this does not hold together. That's the bottom line."