LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- After canceling racing Wednesday due to extreme heat, Churchill Downs also canceled Thursday's races as well.

The Louisville area is under an air quality alert and an excessive heat warning. Heat index values well above 100 degrees are forecast for Thursday.

Cancellations of Churchill Downs races because of weather conditions are rare. Thursday's cancellation is the 23nd in track history and only the third related to extreme heat, joining Wednesday and June 28, 2012.

Racing is scheduled to resume at 12:45 p.m. Friday, but track officials will be monitoring the forecast.

For more on the ongoing heat wave, click here.

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