NATIONAL NEWS

Belmont cancels racing, Nationals postpone game due to poor air quality from Canada wildfires

Jun 8, 2023, 8:54 AM

The sun is obscured by haze caused by northern wildfires as horses are bathed ahead of the Belmont ...

The sun is obscured by haze caused by northern wildfires as horses are bathed ahead of the Belmont Stakes horse race, Thursday, June 8, 2023, at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y. Training was cancelled for the day due to poor air quality. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Racing at Belmont Park was canceled and the Washington Nationals’ home game against the Arizona Diamondbacks was postponed Thursday due to poor air quality from wildfires in Canada.

It’s the second straight day the continuing fires north of the border have impacted sports in the Northeastern United States. Several Major League Baseball games were called off Wednesday. A National Women’s Soccer League game in New Jersey and an indoor WNBA game set for Brooklyn were also called off Wednesday amid hazy conditions that have raised alarms from health authorities.

Also call off Thursday was a scheduled practice for the NFL’s New York Giants.

The New York Racing Association canceled live racing at Belmont Park two days before the facility is scheduled to host the final leg of the Triple Crown with the Belmont Stakes.

As previously announced, morning training was canceled Thursday at both Saratoga Race Course and Belmont Park. The conditions that necessitated the cancelation of training are likely to persist this afternoon and into the evening, according to the NYRA, and a twilight racing program that would kick off the 2023 Belmont Stakes Racing Festival has been cancelled.

“Based on current forecast models and consultation with our external weather services, we remain optimistic that we will see an improvement in air quality on Friday,” NYRA President & CEO David O’Rourke said in a statement.

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AP sports: https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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Belmont cancels racing, Nationals postpone game due to poor air quality from Canada wildfires