Heat forces Churchill to cancel, delay races

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by Chelsea Rabideau

WHAS11.com

Posted on June 27, 2012 at 5:36 PM

Updated Saturday, Jun 30 at 6:53 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11)  – Temperatures are creeping up and up in Kentuckiana. For the first time in track history, Churchill Downs is cancelling races because of the heat. 

“Fluids and cool spaces, fluids and cool spaces, just over and over again,” warns Dr. Erika Janes.

Triple digit heat is bearing down on Kentuckiana and the best place to be, especially for children, is anywhere but outside…doctor’s orders.

“You can go from heat exhaustion where you have the cool and clammy skin and you don’t feel so well, to heat stroke, which is a life threatening emergency, within a matter of minutes,” explains Dr. Janes.

The heat will be so intense, Churchill Downs is canceling all races on Thursday, a first in track history.

Click here to see the full press release from Churchill Downs.

“I have been in this town, in the neighborhood of 30 years and associated with Churchill Downs since 1997,” Vice President of Race Communications John Asher said, “I don’t remember a day that we’ve had that kind of heat wave.”

On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, the last three days of the spring meet, post times have been moved to 6:30 p.m. Race fans think that’s a wise move.

Bob Cole says, “It’s telling people that it’s not healthy and, you know, we need to learn as a country to take health into consideration because it’s just sports.”

Horse racing fan Tracey Wilkes agrees, saying, “I think it’s a great idea. I think with the heat that’s coming on the horses or animals, I mean they’re like human beings. To ask them to run in the heat is a little absurd.”

When the heat sets in, Dr. Janes says it’s critical to protect children and pets and never, ever leave them in the car.

“Their hearts beat faster, the metabolism is a lot faster, so we really need to think of them heating up a lot faster than we do,” She explains, “ Even though you think, ‘Oh, they’re young, they can handle this.’ No. That’s not the way to think of it.”

The heat is also putting a halt to Friday’s Live@5 concert in New Albany. Mayor Jeff Gahan made that announcement Wednesday.

Click here to see the full press release from Churchill Downs.

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