Noting that several tracks in the East have had to cancel races this winter because of what severe weather has done to racing surfaces, Laurel owner Frank DeFrancis said yesterday that a newly developed machine, the Gyro Power Harrow, would be tried at his track in the near future.

"We've been in touch with the company that makes them in the Midwest and we'll try it as soon as we can," he said.

"I understand that the tool can cut up a frozen track and crush the top layer of dirt so as to ensure a cushion even when there are dramatic drops in weather such as we encountered last week.

"The only danger is that the power of the machine does not touch the base of our track, which we consider is the best on the East Coast."

Laurel was forced to cancel 3 1/2 days of racing last week. Charles Town has canceled its last three cards, including today's.

In yesterday's feature race at Laurel, Diamonds N Ashes moved past Double Explosion on the stretch turn and drew away to a four-length victory. Christopher S&S closed strongly for second place, more than a length in front of Double Explosion.

The victory by Diamonds N Ashes was the second on the card for trainer Jim Simpson and jockey Danny Wright, who combined efforts with the filly Pretty N Quick to win the second race.

Diamonds N Ashes paid $7 and capped a 2-3 exacta worth $20.80. The gray son of Wise Exchange ran the mile over a sloppy track in 1:41 1/5.