By Jim Freer
Due to Hurricane Irma, this is a very rare Saturday without live racing at any Florida thoroughbred track.
On Tuesday, Gulfstream Park announced that it was cancelling its race cards from Thursday Sept. 7 through Sunday Sept. 10.
Gulfstream is scheduled to resume racing this coming Wednesday Sept. 13 at its track in Hallandale Beach, Fla. It has a scheduled first post of 1:15 p.m. for a ten-race card.
Whether Gulfstream can get back to racing that soon will depend on Irma.
As we write this early Saturday afternoon, Irma is barreling westward through Cuba. After passing through the Florida Straits, it is forecast to make landfall on Sunday morning in southwest Florida.
In that scenario, Hallandale Beach and other localities in southeastern Florida likely would experience heavy rain and winds–and possible flooding.
Gulfstream is in a low-lying area, and parking lots and other portions of its facility are prone to flooding.
Due to the threat of Hurricane Matthew, Gulfstream cancelled racing last Saturday Oct. 8 at its Gulfstream Park West meet at Calder.
The only other times we recall there being no racing in Florida on a Saturday were instances when Christmas Eve or Christmas Day was on a Saturday.
Last year, Christmas Eve fell on a Saturday and Christmas Day fell on a Sunday. Racinngwas not scheduled either day at Gulfstream or at Tampa Bay Downs,