At 6 am on Tuesday, February 24, temperatures in the greater Baltimore area hovered in the single digits. Though classified as below normal for the region, they were all too normal in this winter of 2015, when words like “polar vortex” and “Siberian express” and “biting wind” have become an unwelcome entry into the vernacular.
Throughout the Mid-Atlantic, race tracks have been forced to cancel cards, so often that on Wednesday, February 26, Erich Zimny, vice president of racing operations at Charles Town, tweeted,
But even on the days when racing doesn’t happen, training does: even if they can’t breeze or gallop, horses need to be fed and exercised, and barn staff needs to report while it’s still dark out, no matter how cold it is. And when it’s really cold, it’s also really tough to get, and stay, warm.
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Photo: Tony Black riding Winning Image in the January 2014 (ironically named?) What a Summer at Laurel Park. Photo credit Laurie Asseo.