A blazing weather forecast for Saturday has pushed a number of tracks to cancel Saturday racing, but Monmouth Park has opted to remain open and carry out its signature race card of the season, topped by the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational. Temperatures are expected to reach a high of 96 degrees, with heat indexes approaching 106.
After the first two races on the card, Monmouth announced that it would abbreviate the remainder of the card and only hold the stakes races. Cancelled races are numbers 3, 4, 6, 7, 13, and 14.
Additionally, the track plans to push post times back to start the stakes at 6:00 p.m., with an estimated post for the Haskell at 8:05 p.m.
Here is an approximate schedule for the revised Haskell card:
6:00 p.m. – G3 Oceanport Stakes (race 5 in the program)
6:25 p.m. – G3 Molly Pitcher Stakes (race 8 in the program)
6:53 p.m. – Wolf Hill Stakes (race 9 in the program)
7:15 p.m. – G3 Monmouth Cup (race 10 in the program)
7:40 p.m. – G3 Matchmaker Stakes (race 11 in the program)
8:05 p.m. – G1 Haskell Invitational (race 12 in the program)
A pick 5 will be offered for races 8-12.
“We've been carefully monitoring the heat for days, including today, and we have a staff of veterinarians and state veterinarians, independent vets and consultants, all of whom tell us it's safe to run, that we're below the level required for the recommendation for cancellation,” said Dennis Drazin, Chairman and CEO of Darby Development, operators of Monmouth Park.
“However, given the heightened concern from the public about the heat, and in the interest of the safety of the horses, we've decided to proceed with an abundance of caution, to cancel the remaining non-stakes races and to delay the six stakes races until a later post time starting at 6 p.m., with those races 25 minutes apart. The Haskell Invitational will now have a post time of 8:05 p.m.
“We're doing this to err on the side of caution.”
The planned NBC broadcast of the Haskell was scheduled from 5-6 p.m.
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