OZONE PARK, N.Y. -- Saturday's Grade 2, $150,000 Red Smith Handicap, scheduled for 1 3-8 miles on the turf, was moved to the main track and shortened to 1 1-4 miles on Aqueduct's main track, New York Racing Association officials announced Saturday morning.
"With the amount of rain we had this week, there was a certain part of the turf course on the backside that remained very soft," said John Passero, the NYRA's director of racing surfaces. "I wasn't happy with it and didn't feel it would be safe for the horses and the jockeys. The course will probably be ready sometime next week, weather permitting."
Because of the surface switch, the Red Smith was decimated by scratches. As of 11:10 a.m., only five horses remained in the race: Crown Point, Request for Parole, Naughty New Yorker, Angliana and Chilly Rooster.