Date added to Oak Tree meet

INGLEWOOD, Calif. -- The Oak Tree at Hollywood Park meeting will run an additional day on Wednesday, Oct. 27 to make up for the rainout on Wednesday of this week, the track announced Thursday.

Hollywood Park canceled its eight-race Wednesday program after a significant downpour in late morning led to erosion in two places on the backstretch.

The decision to cancel races was made at 1:34 p.m., a half-hour after the scheduled start to the program. Approximately 1.25 inches of rain fell in about an hour before lunch, according to track officials. An area near the five-furlong pole, adjacent to a path between the barns and the racetrack, was the section of principal concern. Track officials said water ran down the path and collected on the racetrack during the rainstorm.

Track maintenance crews worked on the surface through lunchtime and into early afternoon to salvage the race card on Wednesday, which had a start time tentatively pushed back to 1:40 p.m. By 1:30 p.m., it was apparent that racing would not go forward, since the horses for the first race had not been sent to the paddock.

Oak Tree received a waiver from the California Horse Racing Board on Thursday to add the Oct. 27 program. As a result, the track will offer five days of racing that week, the final week of the Oak Tree at Hollywood Park meeting, which ends Oct. 31.

Hollywood Park will begin its own fall season on Thursday, Nov. 4.

The canceled races from Wednesday will be offered Sunday and Monday, though racing secretary Martin Panza expressed frustration Thursday at the absence of horses from Wednesday's program who had been entered for Sunday.

In the first four days of the Oak Tree at Hollywood Park meeting, from Sept. 30 through Oct. 3, field sizes averaged 7.44 horses. Last year, during the first five days of racing of the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting, field sizes averaged 8.3 runners per race.