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Heat prompts NYRA to cancel racing Saturday at Saratoga

Saratoga Race Course Opening Weekend

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NEW YORK - JULY 27: Thoroughbreds race at Saratoga Race Course during opening weekend of the thoroughbred racing season July 27, 2003 in Saratoga Springs, New York. The horse racing industry is hoping that the release of the new movie “Seabiscuit” will revive interest in the nation’s struggling racetracks. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. -- The New York Racing Association has canceled Saturday’s card of racing at Saratoga Race Course due to excessive heat forecast for eastern New York.

The National Weather Service is predicting a heat index as high as 110 degrees. Training will be permitted Saturday on both the main track and Oklahoma training track in the normally cooler temperatures in the morning.

The last time an entire racing card was canceled at Saratoga because of extreme heat was Aug. 2, 2006, when temperatures rose to the upper 90s and the heat index measured as high as 110 degrees.

NYRA president Dave O’Rourke calls the move “of the utmost importance” to NYRA and its industry partners.

The sport has come under increased scrutiny with the deaths of 30 horses during the recent racing season at Santa Anita in Southern California.