ERIE, Pa. - A Pennsylvania thoroughbred track has canceled its racing card again as officials deal with deer running onto the track during races.
One deer ran onto the track at Presque Isle Downs & Casino on Sunday, cutting in front of the lead horse during the fourth race. Four other races scheduled for that afternoon were canceled as a precaution, even though the deer didn't collide with any horses, the Erie Times-News reported Tuesday.
Officials also canceled racing cards for Monday and Tuesday while they looked for solutions.
"We're taking this very seriously," casino vice president and general manager Jeff Favre said. "The last thing we want is a jockey or horse to get hurt due to deer."
Sunday's incident wasn't the first involving deer, however, and jockeys said they're becoming concerned. Five deer also interrupted the third race on June 22, prompting officials to cancel the final five races that day, track spokeswoman Jennifer See said.
"This is a very troubling situation," said Heriberto Rivera, East Coast manager for the Jockey's Guild. The union represents more than 1,300 retired and current U.S. jockeys.
"You can't have animals weighing hundreds of pounds crossing in front of you when you're going 35 to 40 miles an hour," Rivera said. "Management hasn't done anything about the problem and it's been going on for a week."
Favre said the track may have officials walk along the track before races to keep deer away.
"No final resolution has been decided at this time," Favre said Monday. "It's not as easy as one might think, and we're working diligently to figure out what that long-term solution is."
See, the track spokeswoman, didn't immediately return a call for comment Tuesday about when racing will resume or whether any deer prevention measures have been approved.